Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's Crafty Cocktails Time!

Save the date for Crafty Cocktails with the DC Craft Mafia! Tuesday, June 9 from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at Tryst Coffeehouse + Bar (2459 18th St., NW, Washington, DC).

Join us for a drink and mingle with fellow artists and craftistas. Mix with like-minded people, share information and make friends! Bring your business cards, your portfolio or a skein of yarn and chill out for a while.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Having a lovely weekend?

Hey everyone out there in the blogosphere. How is your weekend going? Mine is going great so far. I am currently sitting out by my parent's pool watching my son & his friend splish splash around. It truly feels like the kick off to the summer here in Maryland. It is HOT! I am not complaining though. I remember freezing my a$$ off just a few months (weeks even) ago. So welcome warm weather! All I need now is some Maryland crabs & my summer will be officially started. I'll have to work on the crabs, but something else that says summer is open air craft shows. DC Craft Mafia will be participating in several over the next few weeks. Our next show will be tomorrow right in Vienna, VA. You have no excuse about not having time to come see us for this one. It runs from 10 AM until 10 PM! We will be at the Counter Culture Fest 2009 at the Soundry.

Next weekend you can find us at Handmade Mart in Silver Spring, MD.

We are super excited about this show. This show replaces the Spring Crafty Bastards show & is put on by the Crafty Bastards ladies so you know it is going to RAWK! There are going to be some really cool vendors that I can not wait to see such as Bookish Lady

I have one something like this & I love it!

Guest Room Closet

I need these! I pack my lunch all the time, but use those plastic Ziploc type. This is so much more eco friendly & cute!

There are tons more vendors, but in the interest of time go check out the Q & A here to see more great items from the vendors.

Then on the weekend of June 6th we will bee headed due north to Brooklyn baby! That's right, we will be showing at Renegade Brooklyn. This is going to be a huge event with over 200 vendors. So bring your wallets & your walking shoes & get your shop on! Here is a list of vendors.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Nice weather + Long weekend = Fun Fun Fun!

Memorial weekend is finally here. You know what that means. The kick off to the summer season! So while you are dusting off the old grill, squeezing into your bikini or just sipping on some fresh lemonade considering taking in some of these fun events in the DC area this weekend.


Rockville's Hometown Holidays Festival:
This event features a Taste of Rockville which includes foods from local favorites including Lebanese Taverna, Armands, Potomac Pizza, Rocklands BBQ, Whole Foods, Phillips Seafood, Spice Xing, Bombay Bistro, Oro Pomodoro, Vocellis, Yogiberry, Noodles & Company, Gifford's, Baci, Carmen's Italian Ice, La Tasca, and more! There will be live music from several performers as well as an arts & crafts show along Maryland Avenue and Gibbs Street in Rockville Town Center featuring artists from across the country. This festival actually goes on for three days! Check out the line up here.


Counter Culture Festival & Vienna Days:
Head out to Northern Virginia for lots of family fun. There will be all sorts of children's events, live music, and tasty food at Viva Vienna. Stop by the Soundry for a full day of love music & awesome indie crafters, including the DC Craft Mafia's Novelty Kitten, NinnyCat Crochet & yours truly Erica Burns Designs .

32nd Annual Memorial Day Jazz Festival City of Alexandria:
The City of Alexandria will host the 32nd Annual Memorial Day Jazz Festival on Monday, May 25, from 1 to 7 p.m. at Fort Ward Park, 4301 W. Braddock Rd. Admission is free!

Have fun this weekend!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Spotted in The Storque

Take a peek "Inside Etsy HQ" and see an address file box made using recycled magazine subscription cards by the DC Craft Mafia's own My Ugly Kitty. Read all about it in The Storque!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Where are my peeps?!

Ballston Arts and Crafts Market opens today! DC Craft Mafia peeps, Ninncycat Crochet and Erica Burns will be showing off their marvelous wares and even showing off their craft skills. So drop by the market and meet these dynamic artists!

When: May 9, 2009, Saturday, from 10am-4pm!
Where: Welburn Square; N. 9th and N. Stuart Streets, across from the Ballston Metro station on the Orange line.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Denim After Dark - Thursday!

Get a great discount on jeans and free custom embroidery this Thursday, May 7th, at Madewell 1937 from 7pm to 9pm for Denim After Dark.

Erica of Erica Burns Designs will be at the Tysons Corner store and Shayne of Novelty Kitten will be at Annapolis Mall.

P.S. There will be snacks and booze :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Hyattsville Arts Festival

Saturday, May 16th
Noon to 5pm
Baltimore Ave & Longfellow Street
Hyattsville, MD

• 30 exhibitors
• 4 live performances
• Food & drink by Franklin’s, Ben & Jerry’s and CafĂ© Azul
• Additional artwork by artists
• And more!

A free shuttle is available from West Hyattsville Metro (green line).

For details, visit:

Friday, May 1, 2009


I've always been a DIY-er. I'd mend my own clothes. I'd make my own cards. I'd decide that it's a good idea make all the flowers for my up-coming wedding out of paper....

Not sure why, maybe it's genetic. I come from a long line of crafters and people who had to make everything they needed - gardens, woodworking, sewing. Or maybe it's just because I'm a total control freak and it's just more reliable to do it myself :).

But, I'm not alone. The DIY movement is living the high-life right now. Martha Stewart on daytime TV, "Handmade Nation" (screening this weekend at the Summit of Awesome in DC) being attended by thousands, and major craft shows like Crafty Bastards, Art Star Craft Bazaar, Spring Bada-Bing, and Bust Craftacular, and Renegade are popping up across the country and inspiring many more.

So why do we "DIY?" I figure some people are simply born with a natural propensity to create. Some call it creativity or control-freakism. Others see it as a way to "stick it to the man." With consumerism getting higher all the time, stores are competing more and more to cut their costs and claim to be the "lowest price this side of the Mississippi,"it's satisfying to know that something you made from scratch has love and care put into it. Others do it to be environmentally friendly or to save money. Whatever the reason, I fully-support the DIY movement.

So I thought I'd try my hand at the top ten reasons you should DIY:

(poster by BoldandNobel)

1. It helps save money. If you look back through history, recessions, etc. are always followed by a resurgence of the handmade movement. Buying fabric for a dress is cheaper than a new dress, gardening is cheaper than going to the grocery store. Plus, people may not be able to pay to have things mended :).

(photo of EtsyLab class, via EtsyLab Flickr)
2. It's fun. Everyone needs a hobby and making things is a great one!

(bag by ShaggyBaggy on Etsy)

3. It's environmentally-friendly. I'm sure it's not coincidence, but there is also a huge green movement in the crafting community. The amount of recycled materials available are not only earth-friendly, they're cheap (see reason #1). Recycled materials also encourage you to be creative, "What could I make with that old coffee sack."

4. It's a community. I've met so many wonderful people through crafting! Above, are some of the awesome people I've met *cough* the Mafia! Mary, Erica, and Shayne talking crafts and more, I'm sure. There are bitch and stitches, kitting groups, quilting circles, and even the Etsy Forums! People everywhere are getting together over a love of handmade.

5. It reduces your consumerism. Well, I guess that's not entirely true. You can still be a consumer of handmade items, and if you really get into it, will probably buy more than you would at the mall. But, at least your new items will be made by hands, with love. Either way, you're staying out of the Mega-Marts that are taking over the world.

6. You get exactly what you want. Being able to make what you want, also lets you make it however you want. Even if you're working with someone else, having something handmade for your gives you ultimate control on the outcome - colors, shape, size,'s up to you!

7. It's personal. Nothing says I love you like a handmade gift. Remember making cards and pasta necklaces for your aunt's birthday? She loved those more than all the Hallmark crap in the world. She may still even have them. Being able to give a gift that you made yourself is the ultimate way of showing someone how much you love.

(photo from emmegab via Flickr)

8. It's tradition (or could be). So many of our craft are handed down through family traditions. For example, I learned painting from my grandmother. People used to hand make things out of necessity - sewing clothes, knitting blankets, etc. Today, that necessity is overpowered by readily-available, inexpensive merchandise, people don't *need* to learn to make things by hand. However, it's a wonderful way to bond with family and friend. It gives you a chance to spend time with your grandma, mother, father, uncle, etc. and learn something new from them. It's also something great to share with your children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, etc. Pass the craft on!

(photo from Say Llama on Flickr)

9. It instills confidence. It's so satisfying to hold up something you've worked so hard on and know that you put your love and time into it. Whether it be a necklace or a pie, making it yourself teaches you that you can do things for yourself.

(nesting dolls from sherla on Etsy)

10. It exercises your creativity. One of my firm beliefs is that creativity is not based on having all the supplies you could ever need at your disposal, but just the opposite. Creativity comes from being forced to use what you have....what can I make with green paper, glue, and old wire? Exercising your brain like this will help you see ways out of any situation, or give you new ways to solve problems at work, or thing of new products that could end up of Oprah's favorite things.

Why do you DIY?