Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fun Finds at Artscape!

(Wiping sweat from brow)

Although it was a wonderful show, like always, I am glad it is over, before we got back into the 100s! (120 with the heat index, right now) It was great to see old friends and make some new ones. Being in the DIY section, I get a front seat to artists and designers that have some very cool stuff. Sadly, I did not get a chance to walk around this year, so really, my Artscape world was just the DIY section. However, I got a few cool things I'd like to share.

Made With Awesome

There are a ton of t-shirt designers and makers out there and I get to see a lot of them at shows. I decided to treat myself to a new t-shirt, because the one I had brought was going to be too heavy for the heat of the day. Made With Awesome was a brand I hadn't run across before. I thought their witty sayings and cute designs were something I could get into. I got right into The Bookworm's Haven.

Not only did the color match the capris I was going to wear, but I thought Little Mr. Worm was quite dashing. However, I might give him some headphones and make it The Audiobook Worm's Haven....

A.W.E. Jewelry

Deb was the Artist of the Month in December 2010 and I have been eying a few pieces for a long time. Deb and I don't cross paths as much as I would like, so I took advantage of seeing her to get a treat for myself.

As many of you know, I love circles. So, I felt I just had to get these very simple, very cute earrings. I've already been wearing the heck out of them, and I have a feeling they will be my go to earrings for the rest of the summer.

Bunny Butt Apothecary

My neighbor, Scott, was probably the most consummate professional I've ever met doing a market. He was polite, upbeat and patient. He stood almost the whole time, in jeans, while I was glued to my fan. He and his partner make and sell body products, mostly soap, under the guise of Bunny Butt Apothecary. Don't worry, they don't actually take it too seriously, their tag line is "serving half-assed hippies since the early 21st century."

Not only was I impressed by Scott's work ethic, but by their products too. The essential oils they use are clean and fresh. I already cracked open the coconut lemongrass lip balm. Feels like silk on, and makes me crave Thai food! Yum!

I did my annual christmas soap buying from Bunny Butt, and can't wait to give these goodies out! My only regret is I didn't buy from him earlier in the weekend and he was very low on inventory. Guess I'll just have to buy online...

Mal's Pals

Mallory Steele's hand felted creatures are very unique and colorful, things I like a lot. She takes fresh off the sheep, dirty and gross raw wool. She cleans it, cards it, dyes it and *then* hand felts it into her pals. I knew I had to take a new friend home with me. I have a collection of small things. It almost doesn't matter what those things are, they just have to be miniture versions of it. While I do have toys and doll house accessories, I have ceramic vases and hand crafted plushies. I am always on the look out to add to my collection.

I felt this picture did my new pal justice, as you can see how tiny it is! I'm in love with it and need a name. Any suggestions? :)

Well, that is my own re-cap of Artscape. While I did see crazy people dancing in 80s costumes, eat some yummy fries and have an adventure getting lost in Baltimore, these treasures I took home with me were by far the highlights of the whole weekend!

Stay cool out there! ~Jen

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Artscape This Weekend!

Please join Jen-A-Fusion, nearly 200 exhibitors and about 350,000 other people this weekend at Artscape, in the charming city of Baltimore. This is the nation's largest free arts festival and truly lives up to the LARGE part. Full of crafters, musicians, dancers, food vendors and so much more, this event showcases the arts in all it's forms. For three full days, several city streets are taken over. This year, the festival is celebrating the 30th anniversary with special 1980's themed events.

What: Artscape!

Where: Mt. Royal Avenue, Cathedral Street and Charles Streets

**I will be in the DIY section, space #C34. DIY is on Mt Royal Avenue, between Maryland and Charles Streets.

Friday, July 15, noon-10pm
Saturday, July 16, noon-10pm
Sunday, July 17, noon-8pm

Who: So many cool and creative people!


Hope to see you there! ~Jen

Green Tip~ Recycle, artistically!

Artscape realizes that with such a gigantic event, with so many vendors and visitors, there is a huge impact on the environment. There have been many great steps made to reduce this impact. For example, recycling bins are located in the food courts, as well as food waste bins. The food vendors collect their cooking grease and it will be turned into biodiesel. There is a bike parking lot too. Check at this page on the Artscape website for more information.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Artist of the Month~The Bumble Bee Studio

Contrary to people with a bee allergy, bees are a vital part of our environment. They are one of the biggest means that pollinate plants and help continue the reproductive cycle of life. Without them, we might not have enough plant matter at the lower levels of the food chain, effecting the upper levels~ us!

This article in the Guardian suggests some great ideas for encouraging and living a peaceful coexistence with bees, but it *does not* include buying a variety of items made from bees, other than honey. Beeswax is a non toxic, vastly renewable material that does not add to the use of more petroleum. There is a gigantic array of goods available, such as crayons, candles, furniture polish and all the great body products Julie Diers, our Artist of the Month makes. Purchasing these products supports these artisans, and encourages the art of bee keeping and thus is beneficial to our environment.

One thing I personally love about Julie's products is the thought and energy she puts into the packaging and merchandising of her items. The first time I met her, I was very impressed at the display she created. I truly felt like I was in a mini spa boutique. That luxurious feeling continues when you bring the goods home...

Read on to find out more about how you can bee beautiful and eco friendly at the same time!

Q~How did you get started?

A~Once i realized what was missing from my life was I had given it up slowly over time: stopped cooking, sewing, painting, martha-ness was dying off. My true ability is making things beautiful.....I am detail oriented, oh SURE, some say OCD....I say perfectionist – tomato tomotoe~~!

Once I started up again, my satisfaction with life improved...I was using my creative juices again. I found ME again. After that, bath & body just kind of found it was destiny. I now do what I love and love what I do. Life is good. I am where I bee-long~~!

Q~ Do you have any special training or education? that wrong? I just google a lot and beg for secret recipes from those that DO know what they are doing. I have had some epic fails....but, from them I have learned.

Q~ Do you have a favorite material, medium or substrate you love to work with?

A~Lavender....beautiful, balancing, healing lavender.

Q~Why do you continue?

A~I am in it for the money. BIG money. That and to take Burt's Bees DOWN.

Q~What is your greatest success story?

A~My greatest success story is the is all is all me. It is my life's passion. It has grown in leaps & bounds in a short 2 years...that I think is a huge success in & of itself.

Q~What is one of your greatest failures?

A~Ummm...that would be what is known as the “bubble bath debacle”~~! FAIL.

Q~Where do you get your inspiration?

A~From nature....I surround myself with it....from the beautiful place that I live, which is an 1800's cottage on a horse farm in the rolling hills of the Shenandoah Valley, to incorporating it into all that I create: using fresh botanicals, pure essential oils, fruit & nut oils & butters....nature's ingredients are what make the BEE the best BEE.

Q~Why do you make/create what you do?

A~It is what keeps me alive & well. Happy. Balanced...well, that may be pushing it a weeee bit. (=

Q~Where is your favorite place to sell? Or Favorite show?

A~My favorite place has to be the Goodstone Inn & Estate. Divine establishment that I can happily call the newest client of the BEE.

Q~What is one thing you love about your business?

A~That I can work at it 24/7 and not get sick of it. That I can live, eat & breathe it and still want more. I love that it makes people HAPPY....that I can teach them the benefits of lavender and the beautiful natural ingredients I use in my products. These are meant to pamper, soothe, heal and protect their skin and restore, relax and renew their mind, body and spirit.

Q~What is one thing you loathe?

A~hummm....I loathe the elements that take a toll on ME and my products at outdoor shows~~! But, as a starving do what you must, and until I grow into a big bee...I must~~!

Q~What is your dream about your art?

A~My dream is to do well enough at it to comfortably make a living doing it....and that along the way I can continue to teach others what I know to be true of the benefits of lavender and of good skin care regimens... preferably mine....buzzzz~~!

Q~ If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

A~To stop TIME so I can catch UP. I need to list to organize my to do lists~~!

Q~Where are you based?

A~The beautiful area of Millwood, Virginia

Q~Where would you live if you could live anywhere?

A~On a lavender farm in Washington State. Pure bliss.

Q~What would you be doing if not this?

A~THIS is my life and I could not begin to imagine doing anything else. Unless it was being a multi-millionaire and living LARGE.

Q~What is next?

A~Becoming a self-made multi-millionaire and living LARGE.

Q~ Glass half full or half empty?

A~Depends on my hormonal out-of-balanceness....could change within any given second. Right now it is pretty full....but give me a minute or two. What IS life without drama~??

Q~What is your favorite question to ask people?

A~My favorite q= “that is enough about me, what do YOU think about me”~?? still cracks me up.

Q~ What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen sparrow?

A~Quote fail? i think you mean swallow...and that depends if it is an
african or european swallow~~!! come on jen....quoting monty python
incorrectly is sacrilegious~~OR you tried to pull a fast one on the
Queen Bee~~! Tisk tisk.

**AUTHOR'S NOTE** Julie is RIGHT! It was more of a misspell than a misquote, but *no one* has seemed to have caught it and *told me* before. Kudos to Julie! She's one smart bee!

You can meet her in person this coming Sunday, July 3rd in Annapolis, MD at the First Sunday Arts Festival.

You can find more shows and products on the following sites:



Bee happy and have a great 4th of July! ~Jen