Blue Jay Bay: Emily Caven

24 Nov


Blue Jay Bay is getting off the ground this autumn, with a handful of personalized watercolor paintings that are perfect for gift giving. Holiday shopping, birthdays, baptisms and christenings, keepsakes… you get the picture.

I am adding new painting designs to the shop as each week passes, and I welcome custom requests. My first series of listings are for personalized watercolor paintings with your name of choice and a motif or design of some significance to the recipient. Among my existing motifs are hearts, cats, eagles, lions, and dump trucks, and there are numerous additional designs in the pipeline.

I am a bird watcher and landscape photographer, and often use these inspirations in my artwork. I am a New Englander living in Virginia, and I enjoy the proximity of the nation’s capital despite the oppressive humidity and mosquitoes.

Thanks for checking out my site!





For more information and photos, visit:



Instagram: bluejaybayshop


I Spy Artisan Jewelry: Lisa Markowitz

4 Nov

imageI Spy Artisan Jewelry combines creativity, organic stones, and precious metals while drawing inspiration from neighboring woods and wildlife. Each piece is conceptualized, fabricated, and finished by hand in my basement studio in Reston, VA. The result is unique, one-of-a-kind, statement pieces that are in harmony with and connect the wearer to the environment.



To find other shops in the DC, Northern Virginia, and Maryland area, visit: Northern Virginia Craftaholics

Network with designers from around the world.

4 Aug

Ashly Mayle

Network with designers from around the world.

Once again, it’s time for DC Fashion Week. And this time it is their 10th Anniversary! There will be a variety of shows from September 24- 28 with a pre-show at the H Street Festival on September 20, 2014. See designer collections from around the world, and get a chance to meet them at the Fashion Industry Networking Party Thursday, September 24, 2014, at 6 p.m. Whether you’re a designer, model, writer or photographer grab your business cards and take advantage of this free event.

For more information visit:




What Do You Prefer?

11 Sep

Hey guys! I wanted to create a poll, but this is too opinion laiden for that. This is a questionnaire I created specifically for the DMV. It will not only gather information for future meetings and events, but it will help me with some research I am doing for my business class. I would really appreciate any participation. 😀 Just respond in the comment box. Thank you!

(Please respond with answers related to the DMV area):

How often do you eat at restaurants?

What areas or towns are these restaurants usually located?

Is price a big part of your decision where to eat?

What do you think is a reasonable price for food? For drinks? For entertainment?

What is it about these places you enjoy?

Is variety an important factor?

How far is too far to travel?

Do you prefer eateries with a lot of foot traffic, or do you prefer stand-alone businesses?

Is entertainment important?

What kind of entertainment do you prefer?

What kind of setting do you prefer?

Would you be interested in weekly events related to music, art and education?

Would space for meetings, seminars, and casual get-togethers interest you?

Would you frequent a restaurant more if it was run by socially responsible owners?

Does the amount of jobs provided influence your decision?

What about a restaurant would make it more valuable to you as a patron?

Any additional comments:

Craft, Stir, Repeat

17 Apr

So, the idea for this post has been kicking around in my head for a long time.   Quite a few years ago I read a book entitled “Art and Fear” – I still have this book, which  I just discovered is buried in my basement, so here it goes from memory.  In one of the essays, the author tells a story about a ceramics instructor who did an experiment with his class.  He separated the students into 2 groups.  The first group was told to make the best work they could, and the second group was told to make as much work as possible.  So, quantity vs. quality, right?  Well, at the end of hte class, the group that produced the most work also produced the best work.

I’d say that the point I’d like for us to take away from this, is that creativity is an active engagement, and mastery of craft involves muscle memory as much as that elusive word ‘talent’.  Now, the only way I know of to produce muscle memory – where your fingers seem to operate of their own accord – is just plain old repetition.  So I’m going to propose a challenge to all of us:

Pick someting to do with your craft – a new stitch, technique, whatever.  Set yourself a quantity based on a 2 week time limit.  Post your project on our group discussusion thread here:

At the end of 2 weeks (May 1) come back to the thread & post photos of what you’ve done – and tell us how you’ve improved!


Federal, State & Local, Oh My!

20 Feb

Heart thumping I stare at the screen.  With sweaty palms my finger hovers over the mouse; I take a deep breath,  click….

No I’m not signing up for online dating, and I haven’t bought something breathtakingly expensive, on Etsy.  I merely submitted my application for a federal EIN number.  What’s that you ask?  Good question…in fact there are a lot of good questions about setting up as a business…and it can be weirdly hard to get answers.

After floundering around for a while, getting cold feet, panic attacks, etc, I finally found this wonderful “business forms for idiots” wizard thing on It’s called Business One Stop:  and it walks you through all the forms you need to set up a business in Virginia, including federal, state, and local (county) forms.  In about 2 hours I was able to file as a sole proprietor, register a trade name, and set up a retail sales tax account, as well get the information I needed for Arlington County.  I found my NAICS code (NAICS – North American Industry Classification System,, and I got a FEIN (Federal Employer identification Number), not because I have employees, but because it is good to have for business bank accounts, and it keeps your social security number off of business forms.  I registered with for the privilege of paying over retail sales tax to VA – they’ll get $0.31 this month – and you can sign up for e-mail reminders.

On a bookkeeping note, VA requires sales tax to be filed monthly, even zero balances, so a good system is to have a set of folders, one per month, and place a copy of any VA sakes in the appropriate month.  Then, when it’s time to file, you just grab the right folder, add it up, and you’re done.  We used this system at my last job, and I’m using it now – simple and effective.

registering a trade name was fun for me – (it’s also known as a fictitious name, or DBA, Doing Business As) I like my Etsy shop name very much, so now I’m officially BronzeAgeJewelry.  I actually finished my filing today in Arlington.  I have to say, Arlington County makes opening a business here sound very difficult, and very expensive, but it cost $10, and took 1/2 an hour.  You do need to visit the commissioner of Revenue’s office, but they are very helpful.  Before you go, get all the other paperwork done, and get your zoning permit (  Armed with all this, march in, fill out the trade name application, business license application, pay Treasurer $10.00, and march out in business.

I was very worried about fees and taxes, but here it is:  since I estimated to make less than $10,000 this year, my license was free, and I don’t own tangible property tax till next year.  So, when I figure out how that works I’ll write more…..

Sunday Treasury – December 16

16 Dec

Today’s Treasury comes to us from Linda of American Pie. I don’t know about you all, but right about now the warmth and cheer of the Caribbean is calling my name. What a bright and fun Treasury to shake off the winter cold! Thanks, Linda!