Tuesday, December 8, 2009
A New Business Champions Baltimore and Its Charms
Baltimore's charms are not always immediately apparent. Sometimes it takes a cheerleader to show people the city's attributes and special communities. Susie Chisolm is that cheerleader. For decades, her avocation has been finding and sharing Baltimore's treasures. From kayaking in the Inner Harbor, to the best eatery for any occasion, a beautiful bike trail or an amazing dance recital at Baltimore's renowned School for the Arts, Susie knows, and she delights in sharing that knowledge.
Susie's avocation is now a vocation with Executive Welcome, LLC, a senior level staff recruitment and relocation service. At the behest of corporations and institutions, Susie will help job candidates absorb quickly what she has discovered, that Baltimore is a rewarding place to call home. Executive Welcome listens carefully to identify the unique things that make a place home for each person and respond with a customized one or two day tour. Requests have included helping a baseball loving school administrator, his wife and new baby, reluctant to leave a larger city, discover a charming neighborhood blocks from the Oriole's Camden Yard Stadium. Susie introduced his wife, a new mother, to a potential employer, who had a flex schedule job opportunity.
A native of Amarillo, Texas, Susie has crafted a home and community in historic Federal Hill where she is an active volunteer. She knows first hand the struggles and joys of making a new place a home. Susie has served on the FANS Board for the Baltimore School for the Arts, the Downtown Baltimore Children's Center Board and Grindal's Yard Homeowner's Association, fundraised for several local charities, and organized a book club and early morning walking group. Years as a preschool teacher, raising her son, caring for her parents and providing counsel to a multitude of friends has honed her gift for making people feel special and...welcome.
Monday, December 7, 2009
I subscribe to a mostly inspirational automatic email called "Polymer Clay Daily." There are some great artists out there working in this medium and every once in awhile one really resonates with me, like Judy Belcher, whose work is shown above. I share her love of patterns in black in white. Take some time to visit her site for more of her work. It is very diverse and takes surprising twists and turns.
Monday, November 30, 2009
I'm finishing up work for my favorite show of the year, Out of Hand this Sunday, Dec. 6 from 10-5pm. Best crafts, nicest people, great organic food and... seated massage!
What a perfect combination!
Out of Hand Craft Show
Knights of Columbus
201 Homeland Avenue
(off York Road & Woodbourne OR Charles Street behind Notre Dame)
Take 83 to Coldspring East, turn left on Charles Street. Go 4 blocks, turn right on Homeland Avenue. KOC building on right side, there will be a sign out front.
Plenty of adjacent parking even if it snows!
Come early to beat the crowd! There are even some great bargains from an established local artist who clears out her stock for the year to make way for new work.
And did I say, great people, good food and massage?
A very short list of participants: Sandra Magsamen, Mary DeMarco of La Contessa, Plum Blossom, The Devil Made Me Do It, Green Star Studios, Rick Shelly and Anita Klein!
See you there!
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Hollyfest at the Friends School of Baltimore is this Saturday. It's a big, family oriented show with LOTS of vendors with cool, handmade stuff as well as inexpensive stocking stuffers. There's an elf booth where kids can make secret gifts, music, food and lots of bustle and fun. I'll be there with FuzzyMug, who makes wonderful animal prints. Stop by for a visit. I have lots of new designs as well as my newish NeckWreath kits. After this show, my son Marshall will be home to enjoy Thanksgiving with us and then one more show for the season! I have pledged to get handmade, locally grown gifts this year for the holidays, so I'll try to take some time to do some shopping at Hollyfest, too!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
BEST Baltimore Craft has almost 70 members now and seeing the work in this context is extraordinary...it's clear that a unique body of the work is coming out of Baltimore! New York and LA ain't got nuthing on us, baby!
Click on the image at the top right of the page to see more!
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
My first holiday show is this weekend at the Harford Day School in Belair. This is my inaugural year at this show, but I hear its a great event with lots of quality vendors. I'll have lots of new StoneWear pieces to see and a new display, too! Other BEST Baltimore Craft members at the show will be Dana of greenstarstudio, who makes those cuddly knitimals and Alison of Tigerlilly whose copper acorn is shown above . For more information and directions, click here.
Monday, November 2, 2009
I happened on Louise's work through a daily email I receive called Polymer Clay Daily. You can sign up for it here. The variety and scope of what is done with polymer clay is breathtaking and I love getting a taste of it even though it is far from the medium I work with most often. I am amazed daily with different visions of not only jewelry but sculpture, vessels and fine art. Enjoy Louise's work above, check out her etsy shop (which sadly, doesn't have many sales) or visit her extraordinary website. She'll also be in Baltimore for the Walters Art Museum's annual jewelry fair Nov. 20-22 and later in February at the ACC Craft Fair.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
I admit, I am a lazy cook. I like to eat more than I like to cook. I'm a big fan of one ingredient dishes, you know, grilled chicken, rice pilaf and green beans. I can do that. But I have always wished I had at the ready 14 interesting but fast, nutritious meals in my repertoire. In actuality, I have only three that fit the description, fish tacos, the ubiquitous spaghetti and the old standby grilled chicken. I'm not going to even count pizza. These fish tacos are worth sharing, though. We never tire of them because they're always a little different, depending on the type of fish. the condiments available and the tortillas used. I originally read about this in Real Simple years ago, but since I no longer can find the recipe, I call it my own.
Frozen Fish sticks
Tortillas, soft and/or hard( Trader Joes has yummy handmade tortillas)
Grated cheese (cheddar or whatever is on hand)
Store bought tartar sauce
Lettuce; leaves or shredded
Rice (leftover plain, heated with cilantro or flavored...be creative)
Cook the fish stix.
Make the condiment plate with the cheese, salsa, lettuce, onions, tartar sauce and/or whatever you fancy or have on hand.
Put enough soft flour tortillas for your family on a large ceramic plate and cover with another plate. Microwave on high for about 1 minute for 6 tortillas, adjusting the time for the number of tortillas.
If you are using hard taco shells (or both, which is yummy, but filling) heat them in the oven according to directions.
Assemble at the table.
We recently added TJ's Chimichurra (sp?) rice (that heats up in an instant) to the mix and that was a big success. We'll definitely try that variation again.
If you share your favorite, fast, family friendly recipe with me, I'll send you a pair of beach stones earrings for the effort. Just leave the recipe and your address in the comments. My goal is 14 and I've got 13 to go, unless you include spaghetti!
The saying "A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words" has more than one meaning for this artist, whose name I may not be getting right, but here goes: Hinaaoyama. There is not much else I can say regarding this amazing feat of manual dexterity, patience and artistic talent...and I don't even know what the words say! Check out the very tiny signature at the bottom right! To see other works by this artist go to shellydalyblogspot.link/flickr/lyon2.
And for those of you that don't know about moo.com, check that out, too! If need business cards and want something very cool but not necessarily cheap, it's the place to go. For cheap, almost free, go to vistaprint.com.
Monday, October 26, 2009
I love when I get emails like this....
LOVE YOU, LUBA!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
I do whatever I want to do and nothing I don't want to do.
That's telling...no wash, dishes, cleaning, cooking, no surprise there.
Today I just want to work on my show display. It never seems like the right time to take time to do this, except today! That feels like a real luxury.
And Marshall's home and taking me out to lunch...and Ian and Walter were so nice this morning. Guess what I got for my birthday....a wet saw! Don't be jealous, I know you want one, too!
I also discovered the nicest little thing about facebook. Your birthday is right out there for people to see and I got lots of birthday wishes!
And then there's the food, pumpkin pie, hmmm, the taste of fall, my favorite season. Pie of course is for breakfast as well as dessert. Can't decide on the actual meal, though!
Decadence, self indulgence and love, lots of love...I'll be a better person this year because of it!
Monday, October 19, 2009
My movie recommendation for this week is The Brothers Bloom . Not often do I happen on a great movie accidentally. I usually have an inkling of what's good and what's not. But I had never heard anything about this movie which stars Adrian Brody, Rachel Weisz and Mark Ruffalo. Attracted by the list of actors and the intriguing story line, I nabbed this DVD thinking it was a long shot. On the first viewing it was very good, but I was doing production work and wasn't concentrating. I missed enough to be a bit confused but saw enough to know it was a winner. On the second viewing the next night with my husband, I had a chance to catch all the subtleties. It is a creative telling of a whimsical story with great acting and a plot that runs toward love, sacrifice and eccentricity. This is a movie I will watch yet again and even would like to own, which is a rarity. Enjoy!
Friday, October 16, 2009
So Friday, You Are Mine.
Today I do not have to take care of my beloved dogs because I planned the day off (oops, if you're reading this Penny or Mary....sorry, this was not premeditated!!). I do not have to do the wash or make dinner (that means pizza) I do not have to do anything I don't want to do....and I am grateful!
So instead, I am going to give away a NeckWreath kit to you...that person that leaves a message to let me know you visited. This is positive reinforcement for visitors to take the time to leave a message. When I see the number of visitors on the "counter", I wonder who you are, why you visited, what you thought...or are those numbers just counting my visits to my blog. This all sounds so pathetic...and I guess it is... but my mama taught me honesty is the best policy!
My next post is going to be my about our home. We have a cozy, handmade home here in Baltimore and well, I think I'll just share with you how it got that way. I have been reminded how addictive Before and After photos can be when I visit Design Sponge, so I'll try to dig up those horrible Before pics! We moved here 20 years ago from Boston and bought the biggest house in the best neighborhood we could afford. It was not pretty, but it had good bones and we saw the potential. So please come back and see how our home evolved, room by room, year by year.....
Until then....don't forget to leave me a message that you visited and if you're the first, please make sure I know how to contact you so I can send you a NeckWreath kit. Let me know your favorite colors, too!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Craft in America is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the exploration, preservation and celebration of craft and its impact on our nation’s cultural heritage.
Season 2 of the TV Series CRAFT IN AMERICA will air nationally on PBS this Wednesday, October 7. Season 1, which premiered in 2007, was an Emmy-nominee and winner of the prestigious Peabody Award. The series will cover the cryptic sounding topics of MEMORY, LANDSCAPE, COMMUNITY, ORIGIN and PROCESS, but none the less promises to be interesting at the very least. After all, it's on PBS and they rarely fail to deliver! To learn more about this fascinating upcoming series see the episode, themes, and artists on the Craft in America website.
Etsy is a wonderland of global creativity. I don't mean this to be shameless self promotion, but it's true! Just look at this diverse variety of rings. There's the incredible miniature fantasy worlds from Madrid, Spain by Auka or these adorable and useful pin cushion rings from the Art Nest Shop or the perfect polymer flower ring from The Bline . Remember this holiday season to buy handmade! You'll not only know where your dollars are going, you'll also get the most value for the money and be supporting crafts people across the globe. And since most of us have our studios in our home, we have VERY small carbon footprints!
Saturday, October 3, 2009
You'll never guess why I love this shop....in this case a picture speaks a thousand words. Margaret Oomen's work reminds me that there's no limit to the imagination. And she's a family physician in Ontario! These photos happen to be prints for sale, but she does offer the crocheted stones, too. I especially like the photo at the top with the crocheted fish tales.
Check out her shop at www.knitalatte.etsy.com or her blog at www.resurrectionfern.typepad.com.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Well, here it is! Can you tell the difference? My Feng Shui has improved dramatically! Visual chaos reduced, more functinal equipment locations, clean floor work space...and flowers! I know that's a bit sneaky but what the heck, I'm an interior designer. Who knows what I'll accomplish now!
Thursday, October 1, 2009
I swear it's instinctual...there's a certain week in the spring and the fall that I'm compelled to clean. Today it's my studio. I was looking for a hot knife I hadn't used for awhile and when I couldn't find it, I just started cleaning & reorganizing my space. So here's a a before picture...it looks worse than it is (does everyone say that?). I don't think I'll be on the tour of amazing home studios anytime soon. I hope you can tell the difference when I post the end result tomorrow. Too bad it wasn't my basement. Maybe in the spring....
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
BEST Baltimore Craft has been nominated for The Baltimore Sun Mobbie Award for best blog in the Art/DIY category!
Please vote for our team blog by clicking on the image above. We all work hard creating and writing posts to keep it fresh and keep you up to date on the Baltimore Craft scene!
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
I have a family of new friends. There are three of them. The matriarch's name is Brandy. She is elderly and has short brown thinning hair, a long, regal nose, bad legs and very sweet, rheumy eyes that don't see very well. She struggles getting around and needs some help, but seems content with her quiet life. Dad's name is Chester and he's getting up there in years, too. He's the strong silent type with black & white waves, thick, hairy legs and big feet. He moves around pretty well but can be slow and tend to tire easily and he just might not quite hear everything. Sadie is the youngest, energetic, friendly and just plain cute with her freckly, pug nose, round eyes,and soft, wavy multi colored hair on her compact frame. She can't help stealing the show. She's a natural attention getter that is barely able to contain her joy when she's with you and likes to snuggle up close, preferably in your lap, when the activity quiets down.
Brandy, Chester and Sadie are my new canine charges each day at 2:30. My daily visit comes with the promise of a brief afternoon outing for a poop and pee break, a little conversation and lots of good strokes! Today they were quieter than I expected and I was reminded that they are just getting to know me, too. So we're on this little journey together. I look forward to getting to know the wise Brandy and Chester and the vivacious, snuggly Sadie.
In a way, they're kind of like my three little bears...except I'm not Goldilocks and I won't run away or eat their chow or break their beds, either!
Monday, September 28, 2009
I kept asking my husband if he’d seen my blog? His answers were along the lines of "No, too busy", "Not today" or "Maybe tomorrow".
I was beginning to think he had something against me blogging or that he just wasn't interested. Finally today he casually mentioned over a dinner of pot stickers and rice, that the link I had sent him had gone into his junk mail (This was not a good beginning…) but he had saved it and found his way over to my blog. I was anxious to hear what he might have to say. I value his opinion as not only a fellow designer (he’s an architect) but as an honest critic.
To my surprise (or in retrospect, predictably) he said “You don’t mention me.”
Now, I’m just saying…Walter is a wonderful guy, likable, funny, a great dad and a good life companion, I would even say humble, but don’t you think he might have had some other comment, like maybe “interesting"? I would even have preferred "boring". So what am I to garner from that comment? Not much, as far as I can tell, except that maybe he's not my "target gender"?
And so my dear Walter, be careful what you wish for 'cuz here you are!
As fall settles in with blustery days and vistas gradually brighten to russet and yellow before the browns of winter set in, I'm thinking about Wellfleet. I think about the cape a lot. I guess you might say it's my happy place. It's extraordinary in the summer...but crowded with people and cars, so many that I've imagined it just sinking back into the ocean. But fall on the cape is different. Not so many people to share it with and the activities shift from going in the water to hiking the beaches and moving at a slower pace. I want to beam myself there right now. I can just smell the ocean and see the long shadows on the sand.
But truth be told, our time on the cape is vacation, not real life. And life is good here, too.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
When I got married 21 years ago, these are the four things that we added to our lives that made it easier and more fun: an answering machine, VCR, microwave and dishwasher. Three of those things need no explanation. But the VCR....I love movies and it was a revelation to be able to watch one when we wanted to vs. when it was in the theaters or on TV. I personally dislike the distraction and ulterior motives of tv commercials, so there are only a few shows I'm willing to watch. I love Law & Order. But most often it's movies. Between Netflix and Redbox, there is always one available. To me, movies are like chocolate. Instant gratification. Animated story telling that I get to choose, the equivalent of being read a book, but for adults!
Of course, sometimes I get one that isn't so great. I'm embarassed to admit I watched "17 Again" last night. In my defense, family movies are hard to find. On the other hand, I had no expectations of great movie, so it was better than it could of been.
But here's the real upside; my eighth grader asked me today in the car "Would you have done anything different?"
Here was a golden teachable moment! A chance to offer my child the wisdom (hopefully that's what it is) of my years ! How many times does a parent get the chance to have that conversation with their 13 year old, especially when they're actually interested in listening to what you might have to say? Everyone's answer to that would be different. Mine went something like be yourself, don't worry about being cool, make your own choices, ask for help when you need it.
I'm a lucky mom and that was definitely worth the cost of watching and renting the movie!
Friday, September 25, 2009
Twenty things you didn't know about Shelly Daly of A Stone's Throw.
1. I am friendly to a fault, a Midwesterner from Ohio. This can be embarrassing to my children, but the truth is that I am really shy.
2. I love grids. Grid paper, man made grids, natural grids, grids I make, grid pillows, grid walls, especially black and white checkerboards…I think I might even think in grids…it helps me to organize things. Visiting my house will confirm this.
3. Public speaking will be the death of me…I cannot do it so don't even ask. The best I can do is to sit and read something out loud. I shake, my heart palpitates and my brain seizes to function. This can be limiting.
4. I have so many ideas… that I might try to share them with you.
5. I am a great mom and if this is the crowning achievement of my life, I will be happy. I don't know how this happened but I am grateful.
6. In my next life I want long legs.
7. I have a friend that I believe is an angel sent to me from heaven.
8. I lived in Cambridge, Mass, I hate tv commercials, I love movies and more than once I snuck out of work to go to a movie in Harvard Square.
9. I wish I was a better cook.
10. I have an emotional memory…I remember information by the emotions attached to them. My husband is perplexed by this.
11. I do feng shui, I was an interior designer and I like change.
12. I love love love babies' toes.
13. I have a huge amount of energy and great intuition.
14. I think you can tell it's Saturday just by the quality of light outside.
15. I am a home body and would rather be there than any other place. I hate parties except when I go to them. Then they're ok.
16. I think everything is the opposite of what it seems. Personally, I am a walking, talking contradiction.
17. I never had grandparents, I graduated from high school in 3 years and I don't have any allergies… however I highly recommend a netti pot for your sinuses.
18. I love weather, it always makes me happy to have extreme weather… rain, snow, wind especially thunderstorms. I like winter better than summer, fall better than spring.
19. I love pink. I have always loved pink. Especially fuchsia. I love red, too. I think red is a neutral and goes with anything.
20. I worked in San Francisco for a year.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
I decided one day I had to let it go, this time suck was not getting me anywhere and it was much more satisfying and productive to actually make jewelry. So I vowed to simply celebrate when I got to 100 hearts and checked in when I had a chance. My hearts grew…until one day, there it was!
Rashell was number 100! And btw, she goes by Shelly (my name) and btw she works with beach stones (me, too!)! I know, it’s not fate, just a coincidence of statistics. But it was cause for some much needed etsy excitement as well as an introduction to the wonderful person behind Doodlage. Shelly is thoughtful, generous, talented and funny. She didn’t seem to blink at my celebratory enthusiasm that might very well have scared another person away! She was perfect to celebrate with!
I just visited her shop today! She still makes her wonderful doodled stones but she also makes beautiful paper cuttings and original color drawing, she uses Japanese paper on clothes pins and creates handmade beads to name a just a few of her treasures. And to top it off, she sells tutorials on photography for 3 dollars! But here’s the best part, I just get this incredible vibe from both her and her work. She really is playing or doodling with no pre text of making it into work. Her “play” is honest and fun and I love it!
Shelly and I still communicate occasionally. I sent her a stacked stone necklace; she sent me a magical doodled stone that I treasure and keep close by for good luck. Of course, my stone arrived in hand printed paper folded in an origami pattern and tied with a hand died silk ribbon. She also very graciously shared her photography tips with me although I still have a long way to go before that’s a simple task! I love Shelly and people like her! Keep on doodling, baby!
Check out her shop and feel the vibe!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I guess I'll just state my ideas for this venue. I would like to grow my small business not only because I love what I do, but because I don't want to get a real job! I used to be a commercial interior designer, but the mommy track coincided with the advent of computer aided design and I fell behind. Which gave me an opportunity to reconsider my future, change careers as it were. I did some feng shui, some residential design but making jewelry is what stuck.
So all things related to building a craft business are of interest to me. Design, production, supplies, pr (especially), packaging, display, organization, inspiration and especially the people.
But right up there on the priority list is being a mom. One son is a sophmore in college, beginning his "launching" process, the other is in 8th grade. Great kids. It's been quite a ride. Changes everything. True love. That topic is always on my mind. School, academics, creativity, socializing, sports and just plan amazement at the people they have become. And we made them, double amazing!
And then there's location, location, location! I live in Baltimore, moved here from Boston but am from Cincinnati. In my ever expanding adult life, I've lived in Columbus, Ohio and San Francisco but I've lived longest in Baltimore and I consider it home. My kids do, too. It's a quirky place, John Waters and all that, but charming and a great place to raise kids. Affordable yet culturally astute with fine museums, a symphony orchestra and DC's nearby.
So, what's on my mind right at the moment is promoting. Promoting my business and my work. Finding retail show options year round and identifying retailers that would be good matches for wholesaling . Time is what I need most, but then there's the laundry, the house.
Ok, enough already!
I've begun and that's what counts.