Saturday, November 14, 2009

Pittsburgh Teamies Get Ready for I Made It! Market's Winter Season

Etsy Pittsburgh team members' favorite indie market's winter season offers three great opportunities to avoid the holiday shopping rush! I Made It! Market, our area's (and Los Angeles') unique and most popular indie craft scene event, starts off a trio of crafty bashes with I Made It! Junior at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh on November 22nd, 12–4pm. December's exciting craft-aganzas start off with I Made It! for the Holidays on December 5th, 12-5pm, at Pittsburgh's Union Project. The Last Minute Market happens On December 19 from 10 am – 6 pm at the Screw Factory in Cleveland, OH, a collaboration with Cleveland Handmade. This is a great opportunity to expand your customer base and network with Cleveland artists.

Come out and support local indie artisans, meet Etsy Pittsburgh crafters, and finish your holiday shopping list with unique Steeltown creations!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Steel Town Crafters Represent at Steampunk Day!

Etsy Pittsburgh members Tamara and Niffer recently delighted in the neo-Victorian funkitude that is Steampunk, recently vending their wares at Brooklyn Indie Market's Second Annual Steampunk Day in late October. There they peddled their handmade fabulosity and took in the Fashion Show and all-around eye-candy!

Tamara had this to say about the day on her blog:

A rift in the space time continuum opened as steampunk fashion invaded Carroll Gardens in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn. Neither the rain throughout the day, that was downright torrential at times, nor the rerouting of the F train that normally stops around the corner from the market deterred adventuring enthusiasts who turned out in large numbers.

Tam! And Tam's table displaying her repurposed beer bottles decorated with Absinthe ad images.

Outside the red and white striped circus tent, attendees in their steampunk style could be seen strolling along side cars, buses, and modern businesses. Inside, stepping through the doors of the tent transported attendees back in time to an era that exists as an alternate timeline. Shiny brass gears and items inspired by steam powered technology mingle with Victorian fashion. Whimsical wares incorporating this technology with a Victorian aesthetic are the norm in this alternate era and were offered for sale by 20 different vendors.


The event was widely covered by the press and stories can be seen at the following locations: Time Out New York, Steampunk Day at the Brooklyn Indie Market, Metromix New York (the edge of my table is in photo 47/51, to the left of Berit New York, and Niffer can be seen in photo 48/51), nonsociety (scroll right until you find the 10/24 entry), & Celine Gaille's blog La Preneuse de Temps.

Tam, of Barker Bell Heirlooms and Designs, and Niffer, of 19 Moons, are also excited to be attending & vending at the Steampunk World's Fair in May 2010!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

America Unchained! Support and Celebrate Local Businesses and Artisans!

On November 21st, 2009, take part in America Unchained, a campaign by the American Business Alliance (AMIBA) in which everyone in the US is encouraged to support only locally-owned independent businesses for the entire day! This is a great opportunity to build awareness of indie artisans and crafters in your local economy, as well as any other non-chain businesses. Whether shopping, eating out, or doing other business for this entire day, AMIBA says, can "maximize the impact of your dollars and inject potentially millions more into the local economy!"

As the holidays and shopping madness fast approach, consider purchasing local handmade gifts for everyone on your list! Did you know that local independent businesses create about three and a half times the local economic activity as chains do?! AMIBA director Jennifer Rocke explains that indie biz "pays local employees, use the goods and services of other local indie biz, and give back to the community far more than chains." According to Rockne, independents generate 70% more local economic impact per square foot than chain stores! Pledging to buy only handmade for the holidays (or anytime) can give a huge boost to your neighborhood's economic well-being. You'll have the perfect opportunity at Pittsburgh's I Made It! for the Holidays at the Union Project on December 5th, when 50 crafty area vendors will gather to vend their handmade goodies!

The choice of what businesses to patronize can have huge and lasting consequences. Take America Unchained on the 21st as a chance to spread the word that small indie businesses like artisans and crafters are critical parts of your cities' cultural, social, and economic impact. Supporting them is better for us and for the community's health and prosperity!

Thanks to Karen Holsopple of Pittsburgh's East End Food Co-op for her article that inspired this one!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Strange Folk Festival is Coming!

by EJ

This September 26th and 27th, 2009, Lz and I are lucky enough to be participating in a great festival known as The Strange Folk Festival, near St. Louis, MO. (Technically, it's in O'Fallon, IL.) Our lovely friend Autumn Wiggins is the mastermind behind this driving force in the midwest. She has received love from her hometown city for her efforts, and Lz and I definitely wanted to be a part of it.

There are alot of activities planned for all to enjoy including great local food vendors, music performances, kids craft activities, live blogging stations, and a program Autumn and friends have put together known as The Upcycle Exchange.

If you happen to be around the Midwest at the end of September, come join us for some crafty fun!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Affordable Yoga in Pittsburgh!

Yoga. Outdoors. Free or Just a Few Bucks. Seriously? Yuh-huh- right here in Pittsburgh! Visualize yoga-ing on a brilliant summer morning or evening on the cool grass, energizing the body, breathing deeply, practicing pratyahara (sense withdrawal) by tuning out the sounds of the city to find your own inner happy place. Just what we need to wash the grime of a hard day's vending away, or rid our lungs of fibers from a day of mad knitting!

Several days a week,
Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and Breathe Yoga Studio offer classes led by trained yoga teachers in various areas of the city. Classes are open to all levels of students, from beginner to advanced. Move your body and rejuvenate your spirit while getting a good soaking of Vitamin D!

Photo by Melissa McMasters
Stretch, strengthen, center, and breathe at FREE CLASSES hosted by
Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy! At Schenley Plaza across from Oakland's Carnegie Library, teachers guide students through a full practice on the plaza lawn. Through the last weekend in August, take a Monday lunchtime yoga class at 12 noon from Pratique Yoga, or venture out on Saturday mornings at 10am for a class led by Candice Lain. Some days the classes are serenaded by local musicians. If the weather is iffy, classes may be held under the pavilion at the plaza. Limited mats will be available. (Thanks to Heidi Zelli of Pittsburgh Yoga Examiner for the photo and for tipping me off to these freebie classes.)

Through the end of September,
Breathe Yoga Studio offers $5 CLASSES on Saturdays from 10:30-11:30am at behind REI at Southside Works, and on Sundays at 9am at Grandview Park in Mount Washington.

On most Tuesday evenings at 6:30pm, catch a class in Frick Park near Squirrel Hill just off of Beechwood Blvd and Nicholson, otherwise known as Blue Slide Park. Into the Fall, instructor Linda Meacci leads yogis through a mindful, challenging class surrounded by trees, bird song, and community. Classes are by donation (suggested donation $7)! If there is anything more than lite rain, class will be cancelled. For more info, contact Linda at 412-427-4781 or

There are several organizations in the city with a specific mission to make yoga accessible to everyone, regardless of ability to pay. Becky of Folding Space Yoga explains the "pay-what-you-can system" on her website, stating that students simply pay "whatever you can spare." Becky teaches regular, indoor classes open to all skill levels every Thursday night at 6pm at The Union Project in Highland Park. She also offers ongoing classes at Magee Recreation Center in Greenfield on Monday and Wednesday evenings at 7pm.

Human Race Yoga holds regular classes for students based on the pay-what-you-can system, too, believing that everyone should have access to yoga "regardless of race, age, income, or education." They offer an ongoing beginners-level class at the Dormont Public Library on Tuesdays at 7pm, and an all-levels class on Thursdays at 7:30 right after Becky's class at The Union Project.
Check out these great opportunities to learn from compassionate teachers, and begin or grow your yoga practice at a cost anyone can afford!

Ahh... that post-yoga zone when the mind feels refreshed, the heart feels calm, and the body feels expansive and strong can be even more wonderful after a class under the glow of the sun and with the earth under our feet. And without depleting our pockets! Who could turn that down? But to make sure your practice fosters bliss rather than stress, it's important to come to class prepared.

Firstly, arrive early to get a good spot, and leave time for parking (especially in Oakland)! I've missed the beginning of several classes because I couldn't find a parking space. As the days can be very sunny and warm, put your sunscreen (water/sweat-proof) on and bring water to stay hydrated. Wear cool, unrestrictive clothing in lighter colors, and you may want to have a hat and sunglasses with you just in case the sun is too bright. Bring a mat if you have one, and/or a large towel as they tend to slip less (mats can become slippery on grass and from perspiration). I prefer to use my mat, sometimes on top of my towel- I always end up using my towel for something during class. I've found it helpful to bring an additional small towel or cloth for wiping away moisture from my body and my mat, and for covering my face if it's super sunny during sivasana (final relaxation).

A final pointer? Honor your body's limitations and don't push past your comfort zone. An asana (pose) should be comfortably challenging, not painful. If you have an injury, it's best to bring this to your teacher's attention before class, if possible, and don't be afraid to ask questions during class or after. Finally, keep it enjoyable!

Take advantage of these terrific yoga-tunities before the season ends! Hope to see you there. :)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Crafts 'N At Craft Show by the PCC is open for applications

Crafts N’At is an opportunity for independent crafters to show and sell their wares, establish their business, and to celebrate creativity.

It features over 50 vendors, make & take crafts for children and adults, craft demonstrations, live performances, a Chinese auction and raffle, and an outdoor BBQ.

The Union Project
801 North Negley Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Saturday, September 5, 2009 {Labor Day Weekend}
Open to the Public: 10am to 6pm
General Information:
Vendor Information:
Promotional Items:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

CRAFTIVISM: Updates on the Fight for Arts Funding- the Time to Act is Still Now!

To catch you up on arts funding happenings since Tam's and my articles about the need for Craftivism in saving The Arts, a recent timeline:

July 7: NEA Stimulus Grants Announced Today
Grassroots action through Americans for the Arts efforts led to a federal economic stimulus recovery package for the The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)! As part of the $50 million federal, the NEA announced

July 9: SB 850 Rears Its Ugly Head
A huge blow as Senate Bill 850 came up again for back in consideration- the bill includes zero funding for the arts and total elimination of the PA Council on the Arts (PCA) plus another $1.7 billion in cuts to other remaining appropriations. Its passage would mean no grants to the arts for FY2009-2010. Immediate and significant action to support state funding for Pennsylvania's arts! Programs, jobs and services are at stake.

July 14:
Save the Arts Rally in Harrisburg, PA

July 20: HB 1416 now zeros out PCA funding
Tthe PA Senate approved HB 1416 as amended, which included ZERO funding for the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. HB 1416 as amended will be sent back to the House of Representatives tomorrow morning where one of three options can take place:
* They concur with the changes made by the Senate and send the bill to Governor Rendell for his signature;
* They vote to nonconcur with the changes and send the bill to a conference committee for further diliberation and compromise, or;
* They take no action on the bill

PA ARTS NEEDS YOUR HELP NOW! There is seriously no time to waste... :/

What you can do:
1.Sign the on-line state petition to Save the Arts in Pennsylvania (it will take you only about three to four minutes).
2.Sign up for action alerts from Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania.
3.Contact your state legislators today through the Legislative Action Center.
Facebook Members: Sign up for the “Save the Arts in Pennsylvania” Cause and become a friend of Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania.

And stay tuned for (hopefully positive) news!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pittsburgh's Crafty Scene: I Made It! Market on Vid!

Pittsburgh, PA's indie craft community is unique in it's richness, visibility, connectedness, intitiative, and commitment to supporting local artisans and all things handmade. A huge force in the 'Burgh's crafty scene is the I Made It! Market, the area's only "nomadic" indie arts & crafts market, which sets up in different city neighborhoods several times throughout the year. By doing so, and by partnering with organizations and venues sharing a similar vision, I Made It! seeks to connect Pittsburgh and surrounding communities with the economic and cultural vitality of local arts, artisans, and the craft scene. I Made It! was founded by Carrie Nardini (a former Etsy Pittsburgh member- yay!), a powerhouse in the local Handmade Revolution who has made Craftivism and supporting area artisans the "cool" thing to do, while creating a strong presence and following for the market and those like it.

Check out this nifty vid by KeystoneEdge featuring Carrie (and and several of us Etsy Pittsburghers) at a recent I Made It!. Look for Lynne, me, and Tam there in the background vending. :)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Why Pittsburgh Rocks!

As if having the best dang indie craft community anywhere wasn't enough to make Pittsburgh a city to flock to, our Steel City offers a plethora of unique and awesome reasons to visit (and remain). Here are just a few of the reasons that Pittsburgh is in a category of its own among world class destinations, and a logical site to host the upcoming G-20 Global Economic Summit (from

•Pittsburgh is the only city in the United States with the distinction of being named "America's Most Livable City" twice by Places Rated Almanac.

•Pittsburgh has 446 bridges, more than any other city in the world.

•Pittsburgh is a leader in the environmental movement, with 33 green-certified buildings. The David L. Lawrence Convention Center is the first – and largest – certified green convention center in the world.

•Pittsburgh is ranked among the Top 10 of the World's Cleanest Cities, Forbes magazine (2007).

•Pittsburgh is home to the world-famous Andy Warhol Museum, named after Pittsburgh native and renowned pop artist.

•Pittsburgh is sometimes referred to as the "San Francisco of the East Coast" for its hills and beautiful vistas.

•Pittsburgh is the birthplace of Heinz Ketchup.

•Pittsburgh is named one of the Top Travel Destinations for 2008 Worldwide by Frommer's, a leading publisher of international travel guides.

•Pittsburgh boasts the second-most beautiful nighttime view in the United States, according to USA Today.

•Pittsburgh is consistently named one of the best arts destinations in the United States by AmericanStyle magazine.

•Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Natural History has been named one of the best places in the world to see dinosaurs by the Discovery Channel and Forbes. With more than 103,000 specimens, the museum has the finest Jurassic dinosaur collection in the world and is the world's third-largest repository of dinosaur fossils.

•Pittsburgh is home to many "firsts" – the first U.S. public television station (WQED), the first U.S. radio station (KDKA), the first all-aluminum building (Alcoa), the first polio vaccine (Jonas Salk), and the first robotics institute (Carnegie Mellon University).

•Pittsburgh is safer than 82 out of 100 metro areas in the United States, according to Places Rated Almanac.

•Pittsburgh is located less than 90 minutes from Fallingwater, the world-famous home designed by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Two other Wright-designed homes are also available to tour nearby.

No wonder Pittsburgh was recently, once again, named the most livable city in the United States in 2009- and 29th worldwide- by The Economist magazine and sixth best city in "Ten Cities For Job Growth In 2009" by Forbes Magazine. (Pittsburgh Post Gazette). And the crafty scene is just as fantastic as the city! But you already knew that...

Support Pittsburgh crafters and EtsyPittsburgh!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

CRAFTIVISM: Show Support for Much Needed State Arts Funding!

We've got an update to Tam's (of BarkerBell Herbs and Heirlooms) eloquent plea for advocacy for saving the Arts in PA! Some hopeful news on the NEA, but your support is still hugely important. Please act now, and spread the word- there is so much at stake!

The past few years have seen increasing declines in arts funding and arts-friendly public policies throughout the U.S. (Arts Action Fund). Arts funding impacts arts programs in schools (including K-12), the performing arts, arts organizations and individual artists, and the richness and diversity of our national culture and heritage. Additionally, The Arts generates billions of dollars in economic activity and federal tax dollars from income every year, not to mention millions of jobs (American Arts Alliance), the reduction of which will further tax our teetering economy! On the national front, recent news has been hopeful as the U.S. House of Representatives approved an increase in National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) by $15M (Americans for the Arts)! However, the Senate must be convinced to match this funding level, making public support and advocacy still hugely important.


Please visit Americans for the Arts E-Advocacy Center and write to your Senators to urge them to support the NEA funding increase, and join the Arts Action Fund (it's free)! Spread the word about this important issue to everyone you know. Your action is critical!

Each year, 40 percent of the NEA's program dollars go to state arts agencies to help maintain the stability of arts funding, policy, infrastructure, and access. BUT, this is conditional on each state appropriating its own funding for the arts, making the situation in Pennsylvania particularly dire. In May, the State Senate passed a budget bill that would eliminate all arts and culture grants in the state through the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) from the PA State budget (Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council) for FY 09-10! While the PA House of Representatives Appropriations Committee voted down that Senate bill in June, we're now awaiting the House's own budget bill (Citizens for the Arts in PA). It is essential that PA voters let the House know loudly and clearly that funding for arts and cluture grants must be budgeted for!

Sign this
petition. Join the "Save the Arts in PA" Facebook cause or follow the cause on Twitter. If possible, attend the "Save the Arts in PA Rally" on July 14th (see above). Tell everyone you know about what's happening, and ask for their help to stop it! And please, contact your Senators and representatives in the House to urge them to support state arts funding!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Etsy Pittsburgh's Own Brooklyn Four Invade Artists & Fleas and the Market at McCarren

This past weekend, the "Brooklyn Four" (so named in honor of the Fox Force Five) took a road trip to sell their crafty wares at both the Artists & Fleas Market and the Market at McCarren. Although sales weren't as good as hoped, we all sold a few things, gave out some business cards, and met many wonderfully interesting people.

We arrived early enough to enjoy a breakfast of fresh baked pastries from the Baker's Bounty stand and to enjoy a stroll around the greenmarket. Jenn (aka hairycarrot) and I (aka BarkerBell) spent the day outside at the park and had fairly good traffic past our tent all day. It had rained almost every day for the past two weeks in NYC so everyone seemed to just want to be outside enjoying the nice day.

Sadly, there was a street fair near the Artists and Fleas Market on 6th and not many people wandered inside to the market so Lynne (aka Charmed By Nature) and Niffer (aka 19 Moons) didn't have as heavy traffic as McCarren Park did.

We had gorgeous weather, around 82, sunny, with a light breeze up until we were about finished packing up at the end of the day when a summer downpour began. Fortunately our tent was still up at the time so we were able to stay mostly dry. The storm ended as soon as it began leaving a rainbow over Brooklyn. After we packed the van for our trip home, we enjoyed a delicious and well earned dinner at Tai Thai, on Bedford Avenue, near 6th.

It was a wonderful experience, great chance to gauge trends for the items we all make, and a great chance to get to know other team members better. Thanks to the other members of the "Brooklyn Four" for a memorable trip. Pictures from our trip are available on Flickr.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Help Save Funding for the Arts in Pennsylvania

Normally I try to keep my political opinions to myself and separate from the world of arts and crafts, but this topic is far too important to keep quiet about.

The Pennsylvania Senate, in their recent budget bill, propose to eliminate ALL funding for arts and culture, which includes museums.

From the Pittsburgh Arts Council website, "On Wednesday, May 6, 2009, the Pennsylvania Senate passed its version of the FY 2010 state budget (SB 850) with a 30-20 vote. The bill, introduced on May 4, eliminates all arts and culture grants in the state through the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC). While this is an unfortunate occurrence, the budget process isn’t complete yet."

The arts enrich our community and are part of what makes Pennsylvania the wonderful state to live in that it is. In these times of economic hardship, the arts give people hope and funding is now more important than ever.

Please, take the time to visit the Arts Council website and learn more about what you can do.

Take the time to sign the petition at the very least. Let's make our voices heard!

Join me as I vow, "I will not let the arts go quiet into this dark economic night!"

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Team Glass Fusing workshop

We had another Glass fusing workshop in April. It was really fun. We have plans to hold another glass workshop soon. Lz will bring her great supply of glass bits and we'll all go crazy. Check out our yahoo group if you're interested in becoming a member and sharing our fun. All you have to do is start leaving messages.
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Friday, May 22, 2009

Etsy Pittsburgh Team Invading Artists & Fleas Market June 27, 2009

The end of June, the Etsy Pittsburgh Street Team will be taking a road trip to Brooklyn, NY to vend at the Artists and Fleas Market.

Participating Members include:

Charmed By Nature offers handcrafted jewelry with a sense of humor. Celebrate this colorful season with a piece of jewelry that reflects your love of nature and fun! Each of the leaves in my leaf necklaces is hand molded in clay using a real leaf. * no bugs were harmed in the making of my necklaces - they were sculpted from scratch...:)

Funvelopes offers fun envelopes, hence the name. Each funvelope is made from found paper and matched with a sheet of stationery (salvaged) & stamped with an matching image from my vast collection of rubber stamps. (Proof that she didn't fritter the 80's away doing something silly - she collected rubber stamps).Each funvelope are made by a person and not a machine. She even uses lick and stick glue on the flaps so you can seal them up.

BarkerBell offers a number of artistically created unique items. She combines vintage images and other favorites from the past with current trends and recycles and repurposes items whenever possible, creating many Steampunk, altered art, vintage image, & upcycled items.

Silentlotus has a deep fondness and appreciation for gems and minerals which makes creating with them a very spiritual process for her. She loves to blend them with sterling silver and pure brass because it enhances both the beauty and the properties of the stones.

19 Moons limited edition jewelry incorporates vintage and recycled materials to create wares that are both unique & eco-friendly. Your source for original Steampunk, Neo-Victorian, Retro & Industrial designs.

The team will have space inside the market as well as outside at McCarren park on Saturday, June 27th.

If you're in the New York area, take advantage of the opportunity to stop by, say hello, and perhaps even buy a unique item direct from one of the artists.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Etsy on the local news

The Etsy selling news story is going to air this Monday the 18th! 5pm show tune in around 5:45pm on channel 11. There will be a text version on the WPXI website after it airs. (Going to tape it myself) I hope it's a good piece and gets Etsy Pittsburgh some exposure!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Were you waiting to join?

Our membership is opening up again. If you are interested in joining, our new personal review process is open to potential members.

To join the waiting list, send a convo to or with your shop name.

We'll want to meet you! Join us for a meet-up, workshop, or outing. These events are announced to the mailing list. You'll earn a star.

Show off what you do/make. Create a team blog entry, or donate a shop item. You'll earn a second star.

Finally, join us at another workshop, meet-up, or outing. You'll earn your third star.

When you have three stars we'll invite you to join us as a full member.

We're a close and friendly group. We love meeting new people, and value active team members.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

I Made It market at Union Project

Visit Etsy Pittsburgh Team members at the latest I Made It market at Union Project.

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Foray into Silver Metal Clay

The Pittsburgh Etsy Team hosts workshops as often as possible to allow the members to learn from each other. The last of these workshops I attended was a silver metal clay workshop, hosted by Lynne, of Charmed By Nature.

From a drab, light gray lump of clay, I was able to make the wings above but pressing a brass stamping into the clay and cutting out around the design. The clay is a low firing version, so it's able to be baked in a regular oven and fired over a stove burner to finish it. A few more steps are involved, which I'll leave to the instructor, should she wish to hold future classes on the topic.

The workshop was fun and informative. Lynne is a very patient and knowledgeable instructor which makes her workshops all the more fun and worthwhile.

She'll be teaching an upcoming Polymer Clay workshop through the Pittsburgh Craft Collective and I can't wait to see what she inspires her students to make next.

My wings, as a brooch, with a brown doll eye added.