Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ballston's Farmer's Market

Don't forget--The Ballston Farmer's Market is tomorrow! Pick up some juicy blueberries, fresh breads, organic honey or something else yummy and delicious.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pop-pi Rocks!

Do you have a favorite Torpedo Factory artist? I do! I do! Wanna know who it is? Wait for it, wait for it ... POPPI!

So, imagine my excitement when Dawn, the owner/brilliant designer behind The Poppishop signed on to the Ballston Arts & Crafts Market.

Poppi will be back at the Market in August & October with all of her colorful petal rings, Czech glass bracelets, brand-new necklace designs and much more!

I admit it. I'm a Poppishop addict.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bag Lady

Yep. Bette's Bags will be back August 8th, so no worries.
Pick up that bag you wanted last month, this month.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Q&A with Reinvented Elegance

This week, The Ballston Arts & Carfts Market is psyched to interview Joyce Wagner, owner of Reinvented Elegance. Great stuff, Joyce!

1). I can see you are inspired by nature, flowers specifically. Without giving away your beloved secret spots, are a lot of your flowers found close by?
Absolutely! I think the wild flowers (aka weeds!) are often the most beautiful, so I have a way of finding flowers (and leaves) everywhere. (It's beginning to be rather a curse on my jogging efforts ... but does inspire me to get out there and exercise -- ha!)
2). How many years have you been in the crafter biz?
About 5, but I've loved to make things since I was little. As a child, the girls in our neighborhood would take turns picking activities to do together. Many of the others loved parading around in ball gowns (I was always tripping on the hem of mine, and hated wearing it like the dickens!) But when it was my turn, we would make things out of leaves, sticks, and rocks -- they probably didn't enjoy that, but of course I was in heaven! I also revelled in making mud pies in my side yard, decorating them with Dogwood berries, and baking them on my aluminum slide; naturally, I didn't even try to talk the others into that pursuit! (I once was forced to defend my unbaked mud pie creations from an extremely bossy neighbor girl with new white shorts ... not exactly a happy ending for either of us!)

3). You also create wonderful jewelry and mosaic tables (my favorite!). Do you have a favorite?
You are so kind to like the mosaic tables -- thank you. For me, my creations are like my children: it would be impossible to pick a favorite! I love making each one, and often joke that since each piece is created with such happiness, perhaps it will bring good luck to the recipient. Well, we can only hope, anyway! :)

4). What three words would you use to describe your craft?
Happy, whimsical, and green. Also fun, but that, of course, would be an extra word!

5). Where can we find your craft outside the Ballston Arts & Crafts Market?
The American Market at National Harbor (all other Saturdays except for Ballston through September 5th); the Columbia Pike Farmers' Market (most Sundays); and the wonderful shop, A Show of Hands, in Del Ray (Alexandria, VA).

And, if you don't mind, this would also be a terrific opportunity to send my fantastic husband Derrick a gigantic shout-out for everything he does to nurture me and my business, from putting up with my attacks of the nerves before markets (I confess that selling makes me nervous) to his invaluable help with all the setting up and taking down, etc. I'm also so fortunate to have five kind and supportive children, all of whom have been great Market Assistants on numerous occasions, not to mention the grace they have exhibited in enduring the smells of botannicals curing in my microwave flower press. I'm very blessed, too, by my loving and creative mom and inspired by my talented artist friends. (OK, I'll stop now!) Seriously, thank you so much for featuring me in this blog interview, Jessica; I really appreciate it. :)

My pleasure, Joyce.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

This tall, beautiful sunflower just mysteriously popped up in my front yard. I didn't plant it. But my mom always gave me sunflowers. And July is her birthday. Coincidence?

I just wanted to share this with you because it inspired me. I hope it inspires you, too.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Q&A with Creative Art & Soul

Kristian from Creative Art & Soul took a little time out of her day to tell us a bit about the herself and the art of sandcarving. How cool is this?!

1). So, tell us a little bit about the art of sandcarving and your craft business, Creative Art and Soul.
Sandcarving is done by using a sandblaster and a vinyl mask or resist stencil. First, I create a vector image on my computer and print out a negative transparency. I expose a type of light-sensitive vinyl resist with the negative transparency to UV light and then adhere it on to the stone. The portions of the vinyl that were exposed become brittle, while the remainder of the vinyl remains pliable and ‘resists’ the stream of fine grit. My sandblaster consists of a large 60 gallon compressor that pressurizes my 100 lb pressure pot filled with very fine silicon carbide. The pressured air mixes with the grit and shoots out the nozzle. I use a large blasting cabinet to keep the grit enclosed.

Prior to starting Creative Art and Soul, I was a career non-game wildlife biologist for about 15 years. I loved my job because I got to work outside with wildlife and help conserve and preserve important wildlife areas. However, the last few years I ended up sitting in a cubicle for most of the time and was getting bored, unhappy and unhealthy. I went to a therapist who told me I needed a creative outlet ... a hobby. I laughed and insisted that I was not the creative type. I took to heart his advice and went home and Googled "You don't have to be an artist". The first thing that came up was a company that sold sandblasting equipment. They had a video on their website with everyday people happily carving and sculpting fabulous items in glass, stone, and tile. After watching that video about 10 times that evening and after a few beers, I purchased a ginormous professional sandblasting system. I spent all of my free time after work putting the thing together, making messes, blasting holes in everything and honing my skills.

My first thought was that I wanted to etch architectural glass (doorways, windows, shower doors) however it wasn’t long before I realized that once I messed up a large piece of glass, I was out a LOT of money! Next I tried glassware, vases, suncatchers, specialty frames, but it wasn’t practical for craft shows. Every time the wind would kick up, I’d loose inventory! Shipping glassware was also a hassle. I even tried etching wood toilet seats! It took a lot of planning, reworking, soul searching, and trial and error to find out what was really going to work for me and inspire me, as well as be marketable. That is, until one day when I was cleaning out my jeep and found some colorful pendant stones I had stashed under my seat nearly 2 years before …. and the light went on! OMG!!! I could etch these! I was so excited! I worked hard throughout the next few months to achieve the simple but classic style I now have for my pendants. It has now been 3 years since I etched my first Creative Art and Soul pendant and 3 years working my business full time. It has definitely been well worth it.

2). Wow! You have so many different designs to choose from. Where to you find your inspiration?
My biggest inspiration comes from the diversity of people in this wonderful world of ours and the various cultures, beliefs, and concepts. I am interested in iconic symbolism in world cultures (i.e., African adinkra symbols, Celtic symbols, Pagan and religious symbols, Spanish and Mayan symbols, Native American symbols, modern and pop-culture symbols, etc.) as symbols and icons provide concise pictorial information: a meaning, a belief, a myth, a concept, a history, a story or an expression which I find fascinating. Adding cultural expression to wearable art pieces speaks to people. It is thrilling when someone is drawn to one of my pendants; their eyes light up, they identify with it, and they seem to shine when they are wearing it. It is a wonderful thing to experience and it makes me quite happy!

3). Quick! What’s in your pockets right now?
Some dog-hair and random fuzz, crumbs from dog-cookies, a quarter, and a beer cap.

4). What three words would you use to describe your craft?
Hip. Cultural. Expressive.

5). Where can we find your craft outside the Ballston Arts & Crafts Market?
The majority of my sales come from craft shows and festivals (30-35/year) within my 4-state area (WV, MD, VA and PA). My main online selling venue is Etsy which I really love and have much success with. A whopping 1/5th of my online sales are from custom orders dreamed up by fabulously creative customers. I also recently opened a newer online shop on ArtFire. I’ve contemplated selling on other online venues in addition to Etsy and ArtFire, but I certainly do not want to spread my attention too thin and lose my focus. I do offer wholesale accounts and currently sell to a few retail shops in WV, NY, and MD.

You can find Creative Art and Soul online at


I think I'll stop there!

Monday, July 20, 2009

DesignRox Studios

Anyone out there in need of a good, no scratch that, GREAT graphic designer? Well, if you are, I highly recommend the gal who designed my site,

If you are looking to work with someone who listens and incorporates your ideas, is completely professional, has extremely reasonable rates, and most importantly, will make you a kick-ass website, contact Heather at DesignRox Studios. She does logo, web and print design, and will even help you with your etsy shop.

Seriously. Contact her. She's awesome.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Heading Off to Wine Country

Linganore Winecellars at Berrywine Plantations--here we come! I'm off to drink me some wine, hang with some good friends and listen to some reggae. And you know, no day would be complete without a little A&C. Good thing Linganore provides.

Back in the day, The Linganore Wine Festivals used to be a monthly thing with us. We would sit on our blankets and wonder if it was the sugar or the actual alcohol content in these bottles making up loopy. (If you haven't tried Linganore, their fruit wine are the sweetest wines I've ever had!)

I'm bringing it back. Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Back Off, He's Mine!

Oh. Yah. This is my kind of tee shirt. Get your own from Laughing Moon Artworks.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Really Special Addition

I wanted to let you guys know of a really special addition coming next month to the Arts & Crafts Market. Arlington ArtWorks will be joining us in August!

Arlington ArtWorks is a Community Residence program that provides a structured setting in which those individuals with a wide range of disabilities may have the opportunity to learn and expand their creative talents through various art mediums.

Check out their stunning glasswork at And for more information about Arlington ArtWorks itself, visit

Arlington ArtWorks will be located front and center in Booth #31 at the August 8th market. Come say hi and show your support!

Monday, July 13, 2009

July Market Photo Shoot!

Here are some awesome shots from the July 11th Market!

Decisions, decisions at the PoppiShop

Flamboyan Designs says cheese

Steve Miller Photography was busy all day!

'nough said. Laughing Moon Designs
A barrel of fun ... Sorry bout the bad pun, Wingo Wine Works

Inedible Jewelry was all the rage!
Luvs Mommy... and Baby

Artsy Fartsy Fun

The picture doesn't do justice to the colors of Terry D's Jewelry

Table Top Poets -- Baltimore's best!

Phil Barbato & Friends

Fuzzy Soap by Herban Lifestyles

One vs. Many amazing designs

Creative Art & Souls gave us so many pendants to choose from!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Washingtonian Shout Out!

Wow, what a market! Folks showed up like crazy this Saturday. Maybe it had something to do with this shout out from the Washingtonian! Yep, that's right, the Washingtonian. How cool is this?'s After Hours blog told its readers to stop on by: "... Once you’ve finished revving up your muscles, head to the Ballston arts-and-crafts market (across from the Metro) to explore the wares of 70 local artists, artisans, and independent designers; 10 to 4, with a guest deejay spinning at 2. For more information, visit"

Guest deejay spinning at 2?? Okay, okay, so the music info is completely wrong (and so is the vendor count) but I say wrong press is still good press! Yeah us!

So, tomorrow I will post some awesome pics from Saturday's Market. Stay tuned, Crafters!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Map? Map? Who's Got the Map?

You do!
Looking for your favorite vendor? Or maybe you are a Ballston artist who misplaced your copy. No worries--Blogger to the rescue!

Here's the Map for July 11th's Ballston Arts & Crafts Market! See you there today!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Saturday's forecast: Partly cloudy. High 86%. My, what a perfect day for an Arts & Crafts Market. See you there!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Brightside Project

When you get the chance, check out this awesome new site, The Brightside Project. A couple of our artists (Sydney Hale & Herban Lifelstyles) are featured.

The site's mission is to "... bring you sunshine every day with themed, daily giveaways. We hope to inspire you to stop for a second and remember life is (still) beautiful and there is goodness in the world."

I don't know about you, but I'm gonna go "say hello."

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Q&A with Ninnycat Crochet

Put your hands together for the best in the DC Crochet business, Ninnycat Crochet! (Hold for applause.)

1). Ninnycat is such an original name. What’s the story behind it?
Well, my family nickname is Vinny, short for Vanessa. When my little cousins got old enough to speak, we would try to teach them my name. Of course Vanessa was hard for a two-year old to say! "Call me Vinny; Vee-nee!"
"Ninny; Nee-nee!"
Me and my family thought it was so cute, and the name ended up sticking. Now everyone I know calls me Ninny :)

2). I noticed on your blog, you spent a lot of time in New York City. How do you think the craft scene in DC rivals with the craft scene in NYC?
I think the craft scene in DC is a little more accessible to its customers and fanbase. Living in New York all my life, I never found out about great craft events going on in the city until they already passed! I really appreciate how much DC supports its local artists; you can find out about so many goings-on just by reading your local paper or hitting up Craigslist.

3). What three words would you use to describe your craft?
Hmm, let's see ... three words ... I guess I'd say girly, simple and humble. Maybe not the most exciting words to try and market myself with, but I do what I love and I'm happy to be so well received when I go and sell!

4). Tell us a little bit about your other business, Ninny Honeybee.
Before moving to DC, I worked in pastries, having a ball making cakes and tarts, spinning ice-cream, making petit fours. I will never miss the long hours, though :) So I've been trying to pool resources here in DC so that I can start a little baking business from home, my little Ninny Honeybee. I'll soon have a certified professional kitchen to rent for production, then (fingers crossed!) I can get my bake on!

5). Where can we find your craft outside the Ballston Arts & Crafts Market?
You can catch me at the hot spot, the hot spot:
- Crafty Bastards this September in DC
- DC Craft Mafia's Holiday Heist this November in Vienna, VA
- At next year's Ballston A&C Market
- At your mom's. Kidding!

Catch Ninnycat with some of her Craft Mafia buddies each and every month at the Ballston Arts & Crafts Market!

Friday, July 3, 2009

This Little Piggy

Well, my personal website for my decoupage piggy banks is finally live, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to shamelessly promote myself. There are still a few kinks to work out, but it's now up and running and yep, you guessed it: I'm stoked!
Check our This Little Piggy for 100% handmade, decoupage piggy banks!

Lemme know what you think!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Facebook July 11th!

Hey guys!

It's time to market yourself! And we've made it really easy for you. If you are participating in the July 11th show and are a member of Facebook, pass on the news of the Market to all of your friends. Here's the link:

And don't forget to RSVP!