Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thank You Taster's Choice!

Ya know, I just wanted to thank our friends over at Nescafe Taster's Choice. They have been so generous to the Ballston Arts & Crafts Market and will be hooking up all of the vendors on May 8th with delicious coffee and breakfast treats in the a.m.
You guys rock!

Sharp Shirter in May!

Oh, man, I love t-shirts. I especially love tees with rhinos and shotguns, lumberjack vs. bear fights and fish & bicycles. Good thing Sharp Shirter is around cuz they have these designs and way more!

Sharp Shirter was founded by Dan
Lachman in 2004, the same year his dad told him to stop playing videogames and do something productive with his summer. What started as a way to keep his father off his back has now blossomed into an expansive company that offers much more than just t-shirts. Now selling in 60 stores worldwide and with a range of over 100 products including laptop and ipod skins.

Nice work, Dan. Pick up one of Sharp Shirter T-shirts or a laptop skin on Opening Day, May 8th, at Booth #3.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Flash Mob in Ballston!

Join The Ballston Partnerhip, Bowen McCauley Dance and America's Got Talent Dance semi-finalists, The DC Cowboys for an energetic and fun public participation in the Flash Mob "street premiere" ofAbba favorite Mamma Mia on Sunday, May 2.

This Flash Mob experience is one of seven to take place in the area as part of Dance Metro DC "Dance Is The Answer" campaign - an annual convergence of dance-related events that includes performances, classes, video showings and other special happenings between April 15 and May 2 coinciding with National Dance Week.

Two Mamma Mia performances will take place on May 2 -- 1pm at Dupont Circle in DC and at 3pm at Ballston Common Mall. Flash mobs have become a world-wide phenomenon the last few years, with the age of viral videos and social networking. Dance/Metro DC in collaboration with some of the area's most creative choreographers, will create opportunities for potentially hundreds of men, women and children who want the thrill of dancing among the masses and sharing in a feel good public event. Through live rehearsals as well as well as on-line tutorials, the public is invited to take part in these Flash Mob dances that will be performed live from April 15 - May2, 2010. Online tutorial of Mamma Mia can be found HERE on YouTube.

Here's how it works: A choreograp
her creates a sequence of movements and demonstrates them in a video online. They also teach it live in pre-scheduled group rehearsals. Through digital networking, teaching the dance to others live, and spreading the word among friends by every means possible, the public makes sure the dance lives and thrives! As the actual live performance dates come near, the times will be posted at and Tweeted/Facebooked, along with a geographic location. Dancers show up, and it's a Mob of synchronicity, choreography and fun.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Lynn Véronneau Trio

Not only is the Ballston Arts & Crafts Market a fantastic destination for this area's best artists, it's also is a great venue to catch up on the local music scene! On May 8th, Opening Day, The Lynn Véronneau Trio will perform their own style of smooth jazz and pop music.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Q&A with Warped

1). So, please tell us how you came up with the name of your business, “Warped.”

The short answer is, of course, that I'm crazy as all get out. But, actually, the name comes from the act of weaving itself. On the loom you have a warp and a weft. You weave with the weft onto the warp. It would be a lot clearer if I had diagrams, boring lectures, and some sheep milling about. Suffice it to say, I wanted a one-word name for the business that described a little about me (nuts) and a little about what you would find when you got there (weaving). And there you have it: Warped.

2). Even though it was difficult to decide, I picked a favorite bag! I really like Silver Dahlia. Do you have a favorite bag style—something you enjoy making the most?

That one is one of my new favorites. I'm itching to take it out for a spin. The only thing between me and that bag is the perfect pair of silver shoes …

My favorite style to make is the clutch, I think for its absolute simplicity. When there are no handles to worry about (and I spend A LOT of time worrying over the perfect handles) there is such freedom of expression in the details of the bag. I can take my time working on the embellishments that I truly enjoy, like leather ruffles, deconstructed ties, handmade flowers, or vintage button detailing. Just this minute I am imagining pleats and insets for some new fabric that came off the loom today. Things I think are only possible with the simple lines of a clutch.

3). If I saw someone on the street with one of your bags, I would say, “Hey, that’s gotta be a Warped bag!” What inspired your distinct style? Or, if too difficult to express, what inspires you?

I would say that in the beginning there were two things that inspired me: a) my need for a navy and cream bag for a wedding I was attending and b) the need to create something on the loom that was NOT a place mat, scarf or shawl. Now that I have been doing this for a few years, there are a lot of things that inspire me, and I think some are not what you would necessarily expect. The more obvious sources are fashion magazines and the less obvious are modern art exhibits and books. I am usually inspired by a set of colors and shapes, or a mood, or a place more than I am by a specific style or trend. And, I have a wall in my workroom where I have taped up designs, magazine clippings, vintage photos, fabric bits and so on, for further inspiration. I will, however, admit to being overly enamored of ruffles and flowers right now. A bit trendy, but I am having way too much fun to stop.

4). What three words would you use to describe your craft?

It holds stuff.

5). Where can we find your craft outside the Ballston Arts & Crafts Market?

In my basement. Family joke. Currently it resides also at:

Bonus question: Quick! What’s in your pockets right now?

A lucky penny I found in a puddle outside the Target today. Usually, I have empty pockets and a full bag.

Thanks, Jen! Visit Warped at the Market in May & July!

Sweetflow Mobile!

Miss the old ice cream truck from childhood? Good thing Sweetflow Mobile has made their own and put a Sweetgreen spin on it. And good thing Sweetflow Mobile will grace us with their scrumptious frozen yogurt on May 8th, Opening Day!

In the meantime, check 'em out on Twitter or Facebook and keep an eye out as they drive through the streets blasting the latest tunes and dishing out their delicious frozen yogurt with fresh toppings!

I am a frozen yogurt fanatic, so I'm especially stoked for their visit. Yummy!

Monday, April 19, 2010

PawCasso This Saturday!

What could be better than art and animals?

Locally-based Homeward Trails Animal Rescue will be hosting their annual PawCasso Charity Art Auction on Saturday, April 24, 2010. This great event is being held downtown at the historic Council on Foreign Relations, 1777 F Street NW - just blocks from the White House. This year's live art eventt is featuring more than 60 amazing local artists as well as an upscale silent auction that includes items such as: private airplane ride, hotel stays, pet sitting, jewelry, beach houses and much, much more.

Support these wonderful efforts by purchasing tickets today. Limited tickets are available. Visit for more info or to purchase tickets online.

A Sweet Sampling of New Artists

There are so many awesome new artists debuting at the Ballston A&C Market this season, I don't know where to start! Well, here's a just few newbies who are joining us on May 8th to whet your (art) pallet.

Grumpy Haters

Handcrafted Exotic Wood Pens

Michael's Watercolors

BellaMei Designs

Sweetie Pie Press

A-Z Jewelry

Marissa Molinaro


More to come ... But I want to say that I will have no money left after May 8th.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Dues are Due!

April 14th is rapidly approaching! If you have not sent in your booth payment yet, please pop it in the mail! Receiving your check is what officially holds your spot. This means if I don't hear from you by soon, I may have to give away your booth space, and I REALLY don't want to do that.
So, call me. Email me. If you need to make other payment arrangements, just let me know. I'm flexible!

Oh! And remember to address the envelope "ATTN: Jessica Blaszczak / Arts & Crafts Market" so I'm sure to receive it.

By the way, that's the Booth Fee Monster. He eats all your booth fees. And there's no quenching his thirst for checks. He's relentless. (I think his mad scientist creator, Pang from Pretty Little Fings, had other plans for him, but you have to let your monsters run free. Thanks, Pang!)

See you soon!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Baltimore in tha House ... er, Market

Yah! I'm excited. This season, some super-talented artists from Baltimore, my old stompin' grounds, (Go Towson Tigers!) will be setting up shop at the Market. I'm proud to announce FatDog Jewelry and Purple Skirt Press are excited to share their original jewelry and hand-crafted books, respectively, with the DC/Arlington crowd.

FatDog Jewelry draws her inspiration from old Sears and toy
catalogs, with images from the early 1900s, while Purple Skirt Press transforms paper and string into complete, hand-stitched books.

Find these fabulous Charm City artists sharing a booth together at the June 12, July 10 & September 11 markets.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Homeward Trails Raffle Opening Day!

At the end of last season, a whole bunch of you filled out a vendor questionnaire for the Market. One of the questions you answered was "If we organized a raffle to benefit a local charity, would you be willing to donate a piece of your artwork?"

Well, a whopping 100% of you who completed the poll answered YES to that question. So, let's make it happen! Our charity of choice is Arlington's own,

Homeward Trails Animal Rescue is a non-profit organization that provides pet adoption in Virginia, Washington, DC & Maryland. This amazing group of animal-lovers finds homes for dogs and cats rescued from high-kill animal shelters or whose owners could no longer care for them. They save literally hundreds of animals a year.

So, whataya say we hold a raffle for Homeward Trails on Opening Day? They'll hang out with us, share some information and host a raffle, where all ticket sales will benefit their organization.

Crafty May-sellers: If you would like to donate a small item (no more than $20) to the raffle on May 8th, please contact Jessica at or call me at (202) 536-9714 for more info. This is completely voluntary, folks. But if you decide to donate a little something, I bet the karma critters will bless you from above. And I'll give you a hug.

Thanks everyone!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Del Ray Artisans Gallery Show

Have you been to the Del Ray Artisans Gallery in, well ... Del Ray? This non-profit organization's main mission is to promote art for the benefit of artists and the community.

Sounds like my kinda place!

Check it out this Friday 'cuz Ballston Arts & Crafts Market's own, Stacey Rausch from Love to Create has two pieces in their newest Gallery Show. Starting Friday, April 2, (tomorrow night!) and running roughly a month, Opening Night is free to the public. Visit their website to see their gallery hours.

Awesome job, Stacy!