Meet the Maker: Indigo Marie Illustration

by Indigo Marie Illustration

Image 1Hello there! I am an illustrator & soft sculpture maker residing in Baltimore, Maryland. I have a strange fascination with hairless kittens, tea, & otherworldly splendor. I am a collector of old, weathered textiles, driftwood scraps, & anything with a story that’s since been neglected.

Image 2

As a young child I was most often found hunched in the branches of the old apple tree in my backyard illustrating & writing books. Not much has changed since then. As a fresh graduate from Maryland Institute College of Art with my BFA I’m slowly starting to carve away my artistic path.

image 3

I love working in a variety of mediums however my primary mediums include ballpoint pen & acrylic paint for my 2D illustrations. For my sculptural work I use polymer clay glazed with acrylic paint and fibers for their soft bodies. Being a maker allows for a very magical opportunity to inject art into peoples everyday lives with it being serendipitous and affordable. This is the reason why I delight so much in making my strange little, dusty creatures. They look as if they have arrived on a ship from a different world, a charming nostalgic treasure hidden on a book self end or crevice of someone’s sacred space. I delight in creating these odd treasures that people tend to double take to fully soak in.

image 4

All I ever hope to achieve with my works is to inspire people & get them out of their heads to reconnect with the pure wonder of imagination and the feeling of being 5 years old again, uninhibited by worry. I use nature as a primary muse to my works as well as my love for soaking in different people essences and injecting them into my characters.

image 5

I currently sell work in local artisan shop Strongbox and at scattered pop up markets around Baltimore. I enjoy doing commissions for people. I find a lot of pleasure in getting told what to create from other people’s worlds and hopefully superseding their expectations. The unexpected collaboration between the artist and the client is oddly beautiful to me. After the chaos of the holidays are over I will be helping illustrate a book for a dear friend which I’m very excited to dig into and have high hopes for.

image 6

This is my first time vending at the Art Star Craft Bazaar and I could not be more excited. Please take a gander at booth #36. I look forward to meeting all of you!

Visit Indigo Marie Illustration on her website 

Posted in artist spotlight, ascb | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet the Maker: Scott Staats

My name is Scott Staats and I am a glass artist. I’ve been blowing glass for five years but I have spent whole my life creating art. I have always loved to create things and make art working with many different mediums, but once I started working with glass I knew I found the one for me. Glass instantly fascinated me, it can be used in so many ways to create nearly any shape and color, yet you can never touch it with your hands while working with it.

Image 1

When I’m in the studio working with the glass it starts out as a liquid, at 2000 degrees fahrenheit, with the viscosity of honey and is gathered on the end of a metal blowpipe.  All of the glass starts clear and then the color is added while it is still hot.  Once the glass is colored it gets blown up and manipulated using a variety of traditional tools.  When the piece is finished it placed in an annealer where it can cool to room temperature over a time span of 24 hours.

image 4

I am inspired to create by so many things I see around me. I have always been drawn to the random natural patterns and colors of nature and the scale and lines of urban cities. Drawing upon these inspirations I like to incorporate wood and steel into some of my work.

Image 3 Image 2

I like making art that people will enjoy, give as gifts and decorate their homes with.   My products include seasonal decor, functional glass, installation art and custom lighting.  I hope that my work brings joy to people’s lives like so many other artists work has brought to mine.

image 4

This will be my first year as a vendor at the Art Star Craft Bazaar and I am very excited.  Please visit my website at and please visit me at corner booth #46.  Thank you.

image 5

Posted in artist spotlight, ascb | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet The Maker: Lital Gold

Processed with VSCOcam with b1 presetHello! My name is Lital. I’m a print designer and illustrator. I was born and raised in Israel. As a kid, I used to spend time at my dad’s studio (he is a graphic designer). I was always drawn to the art books, catalogs and design magazines that he had in his library. He had exciting things in his studio, like a Pantone fan and boxes filled with colors, paints and different kinds of papers; it was like heaven for me. I used to sit there all day during summer break and draw with him. This is where my love for painting came from. Watching my dad really inspired me to have a design studio when I grow up and that’s exactly what happened.


My trip to India before college inspired me to study textile design and major in print. I was looking to study something creative that contains a little bit of everything – art, fashion, graphic design and pattern design. I wanted to keep painting, but put the skill into something more practical and this is how I found textile design. After graduating, I had two different options. I got accepted to an internship at DVF in NYC but was also offered a job at the Free People studio in Philadelphia. I chose Philly and this is how I came to the USA. I worked at the FP studio for two years, creating original artworks and patterns.


These days I work from my studio, collaborating with different brands and working as a print/cad designer. I also work on my own line of clothing that will be launched in spring 2016.
bird skull

My work is inspired from the organic motif of nature, animals and different cultural patterns from around the world.


My favorite mediums to work with are ink and watercolors and I paint all of my patterns and artworks by hand, with an intuitive and tactile approach. I love it when colors look happy and vibrant and I always make sure to have this in my work. I usually start from collecting some inspiration according to the subject I’m exploring. After I have a good amount of reference (pictures, prints, fabric swatches) I start to paint. I also work with books and nature magazines, when I paint animals, especially birds!

framed art 2

Hope to see you at the Fall Art Star Craft Bazaar, I will be selling holiday goods, wall art prints, greeting cards and more! Come say hi!

and Visit Lital Gold’s Website year round!

Posted in artist spotlight, ascb | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet the Maker: Brianna Paquette from Ministry of Culture

bushwick refugee
Ministry of Culture
is the clothing and accessories label I created for myself while I was attending school at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. I was living in Brooklyn at the time and like most other people my age, I was trying to find ways to make extra cash to support the cost of rent in the city. I stumbled across this cute little handmade clothing store in my neighborhood called Better Than Jam and convinced the owner Karin Persan to take me on as an artist. I had been experimenting with different sewing, dyeing and printing techniques for years but had never had an outlet to sell my line before; it was a big jumping off point for my business.

top 5 detail
I grew up sewing my own clothes and making jewelry but it wasn’t until my brother found an ad in the gas station, in our town of West Burke, Vermont, that I ever considered it as a potential profession. Tara Lynn Bridal was looking for interns interested in learning all aspects of fashion design. I started working for Tara and learned everything from production sewing, to embroidery, applique and pattern making. She encouraged me to apply to the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC and go back to school. I stayed in New York for 6 years working in different areas of the fashion world; as a pattern- maker, sample maker, sewing teacher, with private clients, in textile shops. I collected a wealth of knowledge as well as a mountain of fabric. Almost every company I worked for had some sort of textile “waste” which I always asked to keep. All of which I used to inspire my own clothing designs. Finding ways to use what I had, pushed me to be more creative. I like to see and feel the fabrics, watch how it drapes and then think of how each piece would be best suited in a garment.

studio sewing polka dot wabi sabi top (1)
In addition to collecting fashion industry off-casts, I have spent a lot of time traveling to other countries, collecting fabric, design ideas and learning about traditional craft. Through the years I have done my best to combine my love of travel with my desire to create unique and functional clothing designs. I find my inspiration from the places I have been and the people living there. Style varies from country to country. I like to study the history of each country’s folk art designs and traditional costumes. Color, pattern, and design all have different meaning depending on where in the world you are at and I try to find interesting, modern ways to implement them into my designs. I have studied weaving in Chile and Guatemala, batik in Indonesia and Thailand, natural dying in Laos, lace making in Spain, as well as quilting in America. Essentially if there is a textile related art from out there in the world, it is my goal to get there and learn how it is done.


top 4 top 3 top 2

The idea behind my label Ministry of Culture is to tell a story through fashion, by introducing people to various countries folk art traditions, and creating unique, quality pieces to minimize consumption. I think that it is important to have a sense of global consciousness and do my best to develop that type of awareness through my designs..

stamping top

I do my work from my studio (aka the barn behind my parents house) in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. I hand draft all my patterns, cut, and sew everything myself. All of my prints are from hand-carved linoleum blocks, and are individually stamped. After I returned from a trip to Turkey last year and started experimenting with marbled silk. I have really enjoyed the individuality of the designs that have come out of it and hope to continue using that technique to print some unique sweatshirt material through this winter. I am headed on a trip through the “Stans” to Mongolia next summer and looking forward to finding inspiration and textiles along the way.

productsVisit Brianna and her clothing line, Ministry of Culture, at our upcoming Art Star Craft Bazaar!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet the Maker: Molly Moran of Snarky Scouts

Hello Art Starlets and craft connoisseurs! I’m Molly Moran, creator of Snarky Scouts. I’m pretty new to the craft vendor world, and this will be my first year at Art Star Craft Bazaar in Philadelphia. Brace yourselves!


Snarky Scouts is my reinvention of actual vintage Girl Scout and Boy Scout badges into funny, usually inappropriate merit badges for adults. These take the form of 5×7″ letterpress prints and felt brooches or ornaments.

badge_array ornaments (1)

The Girl Scouts of America discontinued this style of merit badge a few years ago and they use a new merit badge system now. That means I can find lots of these old badges on eBay. I do the letterpress myself at Pyramid Atlantic Art Center’s letterpress studio in Silver Spring, MD. I hand-sew and hand-embroider the felt items.

bags of badges

I started this project last year when I was looking online for old badges that I thought I might use to decorate a zip-wallet. As I looked through several old Girl Scout badges on eBay, I couldn’t always tell what the badges represented, and I found myself making up silly names for them. The one I remember most clearly is the badge for Reptiles and Amphibians – to me, it looked like a turtle walking a high wire. So I made a badge for “Turtle Circus Arts.”

Once I realized that this could be a viable project with items to sell, I applied to a large juried craft show in DC, and funded my startup costs with a Kickstarter campaign. I didn’t know what to expect, but I found that people loved the badges and I sold out of nearly all my designs. So this year, armed with a better sense of what people like, I’ve added about two dozen new designs to my repertoire and a couple new craft fairs to my calendar – including ASCB in Philly!


While the art technique in my work is letterpress and needlework, the most expressive aspect is the humor I use. It’s with humor – this less tangible, less material aspect of the work – that I experiment and invent. My ideas are inspired by the imagery of the actual badges, so there’s a constraint inherent in the process that is challenging and fun. I’ve recently had ideas for four new designs, which will debut at ASCB in November. I’m most excited about introducing the merit badges for “Road Rage” and “Day Drinking.”

I think part of the pleasure of reading these badges is realizing the extent of the departure from the original meaning of the badge. The history is important. So I use only real scouting badges, and I research each one before incorporating it in my designs. With every item I include a little card with information about the original use of the badge.


My absolute favorite part of this project is having a booth at a fair, because people laugh at my items. We’re not talking a polite little giggle, we’re talking completely busting up. It’s awesome: it’s an entire day of getting to watch my work make people laugh. It’s a joy and a gift and it inspires me to keep at it. So come by my booth on November 7th or 8th – I promise you’ll find something that makes you smile.


Posted in artist spotlight, ascb | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet the Maker: Kerry + Neil Stavely of Horse and Hare

Horse and Hare

Horse and Hare are me, Kerry Stavely, and my husband Neil Stavely. We started working under this name in 2008 when we opened our Etsy shop, pulling it from our Chinese Zodiac signs. I am the Horse and Neil is the Hare.



Neil and I met in Memphis, Tennessee while attending art school in the late nineties and have basically been together ever since. We later moved to Winchester, Virginia where we continue to work and live to this day. We do our work mostly out of our home but also have a gallery/handmade retail store here called Tin Top which serves as a home base for us to showcase our work as well as the work of other artists and crafters from around the U.S. We have some studio space there as well and our beloved letterpress lives there too.

rolling ink Octopus

Although our work is rooted in linoleum and wood block printing, neither of us focused on the medium very much in school; we came to it as a way to work on smaller projects that we could easily pick up or put away when our daughter was young. We started off just doing linocut prints but it grew from there and has since evolved; exploiting the medium in more experimental and playful ways, creating mixed media works and semi-sculptural assemblages and carved paintings. Now we do everything from commissioned design work, to our own prints, wearables and home goods to one of a kind fine art pieces.

Flannerys Patsy Cline

The subjects of our are work are pulled from history, literature, occult/spiritual symbolism and iconography, and the natural world. We like to blur the line between art vs. craft, low brow vs. high brow. Despite the diversity of content, the work is tied together stylistically which primarily comes from the block printing medium but also from our approach.

Edgar Allan Poe Dolly

A lot of people ask us if we work collaboratively on pieces. Usually we do not. Although we think of ourselves as team, our collaborative process is mainly on the conceptual level, whether it’s bouncing ideas off each other or giving each other constructive criticism. On occasion we might work on the same piece but it’s pretty rare – we both have a hard time relinquishing that control!Again our work is tied together due to the nature of the medium but our styles are pretty different. Neil’s work tends to be more controlled and illustrative whereas my work is rougher and more expressionistic. All in all though, I think we work pretty well together!
Ruth Gordon

Neil and I, on average, only do a couple art fairs a year. This will be our first adventure to Art Star and Philadelphia together, we are really excited about it!

Find Horse and Hare at our Upcoming Fall Art Star Craft Bazaar on Nov. 7th + 8th. or visit their website here

Posted in ascb, Featured Artist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet the Maker: Marisa Krol of Interstellar Love Craft

by Marisa Krol, Interstellar Love Craft

mesoldering (1)
I never planned on being a jewelry designer. They say, the thing we most enjoy doing as a child is incredibly valuable in identifying what would make us happiest as adults. Looking back now, I feel that is true for me. The beauty and mystery of life process, is how it has shown up in the most unexpectedly brilliant way.

Diviningerarings _MG_4053-Edit

I firmly believe we are all gracing this plane of existence to connect with and learn from one another. In our own unique ways, we connect through infinite forms of expression. It is my intention to create a platform in which expression is free to be what it wants to be in any given moment. Interstellar Love Craft was created 6 years ago (almost exactly as I write this), to communicate the intention of connecting with and serving others though creative expression. Months after its inception, I began the process of learning my craft through volunteering my time studio assisting an artist in my local community. During this time; the past, present and future felt as if they were intersecting, and ILC found its home in the practice of jewelry metal smithing. I share this with you because openness has been, and continues to be, a significant component in the success and growth of this endeavor. An openness expressed in process as well as outcomes, interactions and direction. No matter what path one takes, it will always be a roller coaster of experiences and feelings about those experiences. So long as we adhere to our values and inner truth, pay attention, and not take anything that isn’t constructive personally, I firmly believe we will be taken care in this world.

lexicropped ladylazpeacerings

For me, expressing and sharing this inner light and truth is what inspires my line of work. My hope is that it is felt by, and experienced through the wearer. By utilizing open forms inspired by sacred places and sites of reverence, pieces take shape and become apart of a greater collection. There are tangents along the way that result in micro collections and one of a kind pieces. This keeps the work engaging for me, and hopefully for those who follow its development and support its growth. I often feel like I am making something for someone in particular, which is unique to them. It brings me joy beyond compare when each piece unites with its person. For this reason, I enjoy traveling as well as building relationships that are both customer and community based. For example, the Art Star Craft Bazaar in Philadelphia not only has become one of my favorite destinations, but it has also been a source of inspiration and collaboration in a way that facilitates growth. In no other place, that I have had the good fortune to spend time in, has the maker scene felt so supportive, healthy and fun. You all rock!


In closing, words cannot express the gratitude I feel for being able to participate in the creation of what I want my life to look like, and the good fortune of meeting others along the way who are invested in doing the same. It is a power we all possess, and one that requires the conquering of certain fears and trusting that the universe strives with us towards fulfillment. I hope that whatever it is that moves you, it is something you are able to practice with regularity. Discovering purpose in ones work, and feeling like we are a part of a larger network of life supporting beings seems to me to be most valuable.


Thank you for taking the time to read my musings on life, work, and creativity. I hope you are living (at least part of the time) in a place of childlike joy and peace. And if not, make the time to search and discover. Humanity might depend on it.


You can find Interstellar Love Craft at our November 7th + 8th Fall Art Star Craft Bazaar or visit her website year round!

Posted in artist spotlight, ascb | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Upcoming Exhibition + P.O.S.T Event!

We are excited to be participating in Philadelphia Open Studio Tours again this year! We have some fun things that we have cooked up for you on October 3rd all day at Art Star (11-7pm)

1. Opening of “Tastes Like Broken Dreams” a solo show by Brooklyn based painter, Mauro Baiocco.

Postcard Image2Mauro’s first solo exhibition at Art Star will feature a charming array of “Naughty but Nice” animal portraits. Yeah they may look cute and innocent on the surface but these cuddly animals have issues. The show will feature an all new collection of acrylic and ink paintings of Mauro’s cynical and bitter cast of furry friends. We will be celebrating the opening all day long during shop hours. Come ready to day drink with us, as we’ll have a boozy beverage or two to offer guests! Can’t make the opening? No worries, the show will be up in our gallery space through November 22nd.

2. Trunk Show / Make + Take with Christie Sommers of West Oak Design

Christie Stamp Make + TakeArt Star artist and regular blog contributor, Christie Sommers of West Oak Design will be set up with a collection of her latest designs for you to shop. She will also be providing a FREE DIY Stamp Make + Take all day long!

Guests can make a wood block stamp perfect for hand printing fabric, or creating your own stationary. Cut your desired shape out of foam sheets and mount to wood blocks. A variety of paper + stamp pads will be on hand for testing out your creation. Christie will provide instructions and everything you need to make your own one-of-a-kind stamp that you can take home for free!

No registration is required. Just come on by and get to craftin’! Did I mention boozy day drinks?

3. Pop Up Studio with illustrator, Julia Lemyre
Julia Lemyre Pop Up StudioIf you have stopped by our shop on a Saturday this summer, chances are you met our employee, Julia! Well, she is not only a super awesome shop helper, she is also an incredibly talented illustrator. She will be bringing along a selection of her original works and prints for you to peruse and shop.

Like I said, all this is FREE to attend and no registration is required. Bring some friends and come hang out with us! We will be open from 11-7 and can’t wait to see you!


Posted in events, Exhibitions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Make This: Avocado Seed Dye Tutorial

Photos and Tutorial by Christie Sommers

In my last tutorial, I showed you one way to carve avocado seeds to make a pendant necklace. Today I will show you how to turn those failed attempts and carving scraps into a dye suitable for dying natural fibers like wool and cotton.

This is a simplified method that will result in a subtle, warm pink/rust color. If you are looking for deeper color saturation, or if you require colorfast results for fabric that must hold up through multiple washing, you will need to use a mordant. I’m keeping it simple and will be using my dyed fabric to make zip pouches.

You will need:
– avocado seeds, carving scraps from last tutorial (I used about 2 cups)
– 4 cups of filtered water
– 100% natural fabric or yarn (synthetic fabrics will not hold the dye without a mordant) I used a half yard of 100% cotton fabric. As with any newly purchased fabric, you should give it a run through the wash.
– fine mesh sieve
– a bowl or container large enough to hold dye and fabric. Stainless steel is great for this, plastic will stain.

To make your dye:
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil, add avocado seeds and scraps. Cover lightly.
Boil for at least 30 minutes. *note… the seeds have an astringent, cedar wood smell. You may want to crack a window or use the oven fan.
I let my seeds sit in the water overnight in attempt to pull out as much color as possible. You can skip this step if you’re feeling impatient.

2When you are ready to dye:
Put your fabric into a pot and cover completely with tap water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 5-10 minutes. This should strip away anything clinging to the natural fibers… (like soap residue or oils) and make it more susceptible to absorbing and holding dye.


Remove fabric from water and set aside

Pour your dye through a fine mesh sieve to remove all seeds and bits. Submerge fabric into dye and let sit for at least 30 minutes. The longer it steeps, the deeper the resulting color.
For a color gradient effect, try submerging your fabric for 10 minutes, pulling it out of the dye bath a few inches every hour for a few hours. I fully submerged a few pieces of fabric and tried a gradient effect with the others.


After dyeing:
Taking note that your fabric will fade when it dries, remove fabric from dye bath when you have reached a desired depth of color.  Allow your fabric to air dry.


After your fabric has completely dried, rinse it in cold water. Let dry again, and your fabric is ready to use!

Here’s a little color chart to show the results I got from rinsing in cold water once, and placing the other in a full laundry cycle.


When I removed my gradient dyed fabric from the dye bath, I was really happy with the result. There was a bit of sediment in my dye which clung to the fabric creating a marbled effect that I loved. I decided to frame that one without giving it a rinse.


You can save your dye liquid in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to one week.

Christie Sommers is the designer and maker behind West Oak Design. She handcrafts small batch and one of a kind goods for home, women, and kids in her Wyndmoor, Pa


Posted in craft projects | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Make This: Easiest Handmade Book Ever

Photos + Tutorial by Bonnie Kaye Whitfield

I am obsessed with this book form. It is the fastest way to turn a simple sheet of paper into an 8-page book, all without gluing or sewing. Use this tutorial to whip up a quick notebook, zine or to quickly transform an old work of art.


You will need:

paper – either blank or an old print, etc
scissors or cutting knife
bonefolder – optional


Gather your materials. I’ll demo with a blank sheet of 12 x 18” paper, but I also have an old test print to make into a book, too.


Start by carefully folding your paper in half, with the shortest ends together (like a “hamburger”). If you have a bonefolder, a super handy tool for making tight creases, then use it. Otherwise, your finger/fingernail will work just fine.

Blog_9_Pic_4 Blog_9_Pic_5

Next, fold your paper once more in the same direction. When you open it, you should have 4 sections created on your paper.

Blog_9_Pic_6 Blog_9_Pic_7

Then fold your paper in the opposite direction, where the longest ends touch (like a “hotdog”). Make a tight crease. When you open your paper up you should now have 8 sections.

Blog_9_Pic_8 Blog_9_Pic_9

Fold you paper back in half again, on the very first crease you created (like a “hamburger”). Hold the paper carefully, and begin to cut into the folded edge on the crease – STOP when you get to the corner where the 4 creases come together. When you open your paper, it should look like you have a big slit in the middle.

Blog_9_Pic_10 Blog_9_Pic_11

Refold you paper long ways (like a “hotdog”) and begin to squeeze the two ends of the paper together so that the hole in your paper closes to form 2 more pages. Fold these 4 page “spokes” together to close the book. Sometimes the book has a mind of its own, and you just let the pages tell you how to close up the book.


And there you have it, your new 8-page, no-glue, no-sew book!


Bonnie Kaye Whitfield designs and screen prints home textiles + paper goods under the name, Bonnie Kaye Studio. Products are created to inspire memories at home and around the table. A donation is made with every purchase to help feed hungry Americans.

Posted in craft projects | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment