Shop Local this holiday season and support independent craftspeople. It’s a great way to reduce your carbon footprint! We are pleased to have jenmenkhaus here from Baltimore, Maryland. That’s her, in the red scarf. She’s picked some of her favorite local crafters, and is spreading the word about the Baltimore Etsy Street Team!
Here I’m standing in front of the mosaic wall at the American Visionary Art Museum. My husband and I had one of our first dates here, we got married here, and now we bring our daughter here. We actually traveled to London to see the Automata Exhibit, which was ironically on its way to the States to reside at AVAM. Lucky for us, the exhibit is still here, and our daughter can’t get enough of it. I just hope our next little one (due this spring) loves it as much as we do!
The Baltimore Etsy Street Team proves that there is power in numbers. In their banner year, BEST’s membership has gone from 7 to over 60+ with the local media taking notice of their talent, professionalism and (of course) their super-awesome craftiness. With a hard working team and a core of 12 really motivated ladies, they have successfully made a blip in Baltimore’s history. You may know Baltimore from Homicide and The Wire, but we know Baltimore as one of the most charming — and crafty — cities around. Take some time to see the sights of Charm City with members of BEST and friends from the Charm City Craft Mafia. These good people represent just a fraction of the hundreds of crafters and artists living in our fair city.
Check out the craft stars of Baltimore featured this holiday season in the December Buy Local Issue of Baltimore Magazine Made in Baltimore Feature. Baltimore Magazine also noticed the BEST team earlier this year in the Best of issue: Baltimore’s Best Locally Made Crafts.
tigerlillyshop: “One of our city’s most memorable landmarks stands high on a western hill in Patterson Park. ‘The Pagoda’ was built in 1892, a high Victorian Oriental style observation tower overlooking the park. I love our neighborhood green space and feel lucky to have such a great outdoor public place in Baltimore. I walk there with my daughter; we hunt for nature things together to preserve in my copper jewelry line. Finding nature and the subtle essence of the seasons can be a challenge in the inner city, but we can find them in Patterson Park.”
vwstudios: “Tucked in a dell in the middle of an urban Baltimore neighborhood is the Baltimore Museum of Art’s sculpture garden. I used to live around the corner and visit regularly, now I stop by on occasion to be inspired by one of Baltimore’s jewels! It’s a small garden, nestled between the museum and the Johns Hopkins University campus. I love the intimate setting and the lush greenery. The criss-crossing paths bring many pedestrians through on their way to somewhere else, but the benches are always full of people stopping to take a moment with the art.”
jennyjen42: “Here I am in one of my favorite hiding spots…the Cylburn Arboretum, a nature preserve and city park of about 207 acres, located in northwest Baltimore City. I first came here on a field trip in the fourth grade and we went on a nature hike looking for birdies. There is a Nature Museum which contains a collection of Maryland birds, most of which are mounted in habitat arrangements, and collections of bird eggs from the late 1800′s, butterflies and moths, rocks and minerals, fossils and seashells, games, and habitat dioramas. When you are here you can’t believe that you are still in parts of urban Baltimore. I like to think of this place as my little oasis. I like to come here in search of more subjects for my birdy bird products. I am pictured here trying to persuade some friendly fellas to come closer for more in-depth research!”
spatherapy: “This is me and my dog Lacey hanging out by the the Chesapeake Bay in the suburbs of Baltimore. I grew up in the city, but quickly learned to love the peacefulness of the ‘burbs. Living in an old little town by the water with easy access to the city is the perfect place for me.”
jillpopowichdesigns: “While I no longer live in downtown Baltimore but rather on the outlying region, I spend much of my time in the city for either work or play. I love that every neighborhood has its own unique personality and the residences are as unique and different as the many experiences you can have in Charm City. I find its quirkiness inspiring: it makes you want to explore its many facets and tell its story. This picture was taken in Fells Point, which in its day was a shipping port and playground for sailors. Now it is known for its quirky shops and concentration of bars and pubs.”
sweetpepita: “My husband took this photo of my daughter and I at the zoo in Druid Hill Park. We are somewhere in the park, either at the zoo, the conservatory, or walking the maze of access roads through the thick woods with our dog Jakey. We have neighbors who remember when horse drawn mowers kept the park manicured and trimmed, and we’ve heard stories of entire families sleeping on the large expanses of lawn, trying to keep cool during the hottest months of the year. When the City stopped mowing, the trees and vines reclaimed the land. It was once a refined kind of glorious. It’s scruffy now, but magical.”
greenstarstudio: “I love living in Baltimore because there is art EVERYWHERE! As a muralist, illustrator and teacher, I’m constantly immersed in public art. Baltimore has a wonderful community arts scene and the city really embraces the idea of living with art; from the galleries, to the art classes, to the murals & the stores featuring handmade, local work — it’s the perfect place to live WITH art. (This is me in front of my most recent mural in Baltimore, on 21st and Boone, near Greenmount.)”
bowerbox: “What I love about Charles Village is that it’s a fun neighborhood where people aren’t afraid to paint their house bright pink or yellow or blue — and they’re proud of it! I live on one of the most colorful blocks of Calvert Street, and have lived in a few different colored painted ladies. Pictured is my former apartment, in a rowhouse voted Best in Charles Village for years — and it’s just as beautiful inside, with original woodwork, stained glass, and peacock wallpaper!”
spaghettikiss & pinkkiss: “The Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) campus is a well known breeding ground for Baltimore artists. Not only did we get married here, but it is also the place where we learned our craft, where we met and where we started our businesses, Spaghetti Kiss (Mikey) and Pink Kiss Pottery (Shawna) together. In this picture we are walking in front of MICA’s Brown Center, on our way to our wedding reception.”
redprairiepress: “Baltimore may have a rough reputation, but once you’re here, you realize this city is just proud of itself, and thus, proud of you for making art in its borders. People here love knowing that what they’re buying comes from here, and they love having certain things to claim as Baltimore’s own. The city is big enough that it has a diverse mix of happenings, but small enough that on any given day, most people are connected to at least one of them because they’ll know one of the organizers or artists. Enormous community pride and a small-world feel? That’s the best support you can ask for, as a local business.”
Great picks, jenmenkhaus! Shop Local in 2009 and meet your talented neighbors (shrink that carbon footprint too)! Find sellers belonging to local Baltimore Etsy Street Team and check out their blog too at baltimore-etsy.blogspot.com. Check out their website at baltimorecraft.com.