Extraordinary Things Start Small: WunderAround Blown Glass Trunk Show at Herban Lifestyle 11/29

photo 10.56.48 PMHere is our interview with Etsy artist Beth Hess of Wunder Around. She will be demo’ing how to make terrariums using her handblown glass vases at our Small Business Saturday event, which takes place Saturday, November 29 from noon to 4pm at our Merrifield Store.

When did you start your line and why?
I enjoy making colorful, functional pieces of blown glass that can be used (and enjoyed) everyday. I’m well into year two of my Threads Collections. These are highly touchable pieces with lots of texture. I started making white vases with various colors of “thread” on the outside and the collection has grown from there. I started my Duos Collection last year after returning from a trip to Iceland. The colors I saw there just begged to be recreated in glass. I started the Duos Collection to capture the intensity and juxtaposition of colors that I saw, and continue to find new color combinations around me everyday.

What were you doing previously?
I’ve always been a crafter and I love to experiment with new mediums and techniques. I took my first glassblowing class five years ago in June and fell in love with it. My professional background is in communications and I spent more than a decade helping nonprofits and businesses tell their story.

What do you love about owning your own business?
Doing it all. I enjoy things like making signage and updating my website in addition to the actual making.

What is the most challenging thing about owning your own business?
Doing it all. There’s always more that I could be doing, so prioritizing and making the best use of my time is a constant battle; along with keeping up with things like bookkeeping.

What inspires your work?
Color and the challenge of transforming 2,080 degree clear glass into something else entirely. Each color behaves differently as you’re working with it. I love the challenge of making an idea a reality in glass, the process of working with the glass itself and seeing what happens when light passes through the results.

Where do you see your line going from here?
I’ve been working for a while now with two-colors in each piece and recently started adding a third, and working on some new shapes to highlight them. I don’t know yet where it all will go, but am enjoying the process.


Artist of the Month: Beth Hess of WunderAround

Inspiration Iceland_Vanishing Glaciers_Platter and Bowl by Beth Hess_Wunder AroundThe following post is by Beth Hess of WunderAround

I love making colorful, beautiful pieces of blown glass that help make your everyday feel special. Handmade by Beth Hess, each piece of Wunder Around glass is built layer by layer with heat & air, starting with a gather of clear glass from a 2,080° furnace in Hyattsville, Maryland.


I think the stuff of everyday life can be special—from the glass you drink your morning juice in, to the bowl that collects your junk mail. And that having a fabulous vase to put flowers in is a great excuse to bring some home, to surprise your coworker or say thank you to your mom.


My seasonal offerings include blown glass pumpkins, which make a great addition to your mantel or table, and colorful blown glass ornaments add handmade sparkle to your tree year after year. New for Fall 2014, I have created handmade terrariums feature clear glass and clean lines. They are great for air plants, small plants and the tiniest of fairy gardens.

Blown glass pumpkins by Wunder Around

You can find more about Beth’s products and process at her website, Etsy store, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages!

Artist of the Month: Emily Landsman, HopsalotSnacks

The following post is by Emily Landsman, Owner of HopsalotSnacks, the Herban Lifestyle August 2014 Artist of the Month.

Hop hop hop! I’m Miss Dolley Hopsalot, a kooky house rabbit from Arlington, Virginia.
Hopsalot Snacks started with a hungry tummy. My human had been making delicious crunchy snacks for me for many years when I suggested she share them with her human friends who also have bunnies! These yummy snacks are hand made with timothy hay and organic fruits and veggies and baked to crunchy perfection for a long lasting treat.
Our Quilted Floppin’ Pads allow your hopper to flop comfortably in an enclosure on the living room carpet. Made of cotton/cotton blend fabric and backed with heavy felt, these quilts have several layers of batting for ultimate floppability.
We also make special treats for dogs using left over grains from beer and organic whisky production. These (alcohol free) snacks are special edition treats and are for sale only when grains are available to us. Woof!
dog treats
Recently we began to make fun catnip toys for our feline friends in fun shapes. Your cat will love playing with squishy cat faces, RatTony rats, and slithery snakes!
All of our snacks and toys are hand made with lots of care.
Check out our Etsy store for new products all the time.


Artist of the Month: Emily Landsman, EHL Creations

The following post is by Emily Landsman, Owner of EHL Creations, the Herban Lifestyle June 2014 Artist of the Month.


I have been a photographer for more than twenty years and enjoy finding new ways to look at ordinary objects. I love taking kooky pictures with my many different Polaroid cameras and using the images to make greeting cards, belt buckles, tiles, magnets and more. Polaroid transfer prints are made by under developing Polaroid pull-apart films and transferring the images to non-photographic surfaces. The resulting images have an antique or ethereal quality. Polaroid image lifts are made by developing Polaroid pull-apart films as normal, soaking the image to remove it from the paper backing, and transferring the emulsion to non-photographic surfaces. Each print is different and has its own characteristics.


You may have heard that Polaroid is no longer producing instant film. I collected dozens of packs of several different types of film for my artistic usage before they became unavailable. Once all existing film is used, this transfer process will no longer be possible, making these images all the more unique.


You can find more about Emily’s pieces on her Etsy Store and Website 

Artist Artist of the Month: Lisa Seyfried, Color Me Reckless


il_570xN.546509456_7fxrThe following post is by Lisa Seyfried, Owner of Color Me Reckless, the Herban Lifestyle May 2013 Artist of the Month.

Color Me Reckless started 3 years ago.  I had just finished grad school, was unemployed, and scared.  My stress reliever has always been to crochet, so that summer, I wound up with baskets full of crochet hats, scarves, and blankets.  It seemed like a good time to start selling it all!

It took me a while to find what I really liked to make for people. When I boiled it down to what I liked to make, and what people liked, it was housewares and blankets.  So the new version of Color Me Reckless was born! Now I sell carefully crafted crochet housewares, and create beautiful custom blankets for baby showers, weddings, and birthdays.



What I love the most is seeing the reaction when people unwrap a blanket that has been made just for them. I try to factor in anything I know about the person (their favorite colors, snippets of their history) so the blanket becomes a story about them.



I think that’s the same for the housewares. Yes, it’s simpler, colorful small items, but those items tell a story too.  A Soap Saver Bag can tell the story of what mood I was in when I made it (you can tell by what colors I selected!), and then it continues to tell that story when those colors resonate with someone else.

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You can find more about Lisa’s crochet creations on her website and Etsy store.

Artist of the Month: Anne Ferrari of Vita Pulita

055_0The following post was written by Anne Ferrari, Owner and Founder of Vita Pulita, the first Herban Lifestyle Store Artist of the Month. During the month of December, Anne’s soaps will be featured at our new brick and mortar store in Fairfax, VA.

I was always fascinated by soap. As a child growing up in the Bronx, NY, I didn’t have many soap options, but I was still fascinated with making soap pretty. My holiday gift to my first grade teacher was an ordinary bar of soap on which I pinned a homemade pompom. The obsession with soap remains. It wasn’t until my good friend Mary Kearns shared with me that she had started making soap herself that I was finally inspired to give it a try. And once I did, there was no turning back.


As a professor with a PhD in psychology, I am accustomed to using research in my work experience. This serves me well as soap ingredients need a great deal of research too. One customer of mine confessed that she didn’t worry too much about what she put on her skin as she believed that it was not absorbed by her body. Unfortunately, research on breast cancer and the use of parabens in beauty products shows us otherwise. Vita Pulita products never contain parabens, as they never contain artificial fragrances or colors. They are products that I feel confident using and sharing with my family. In fact, Vita Pulita was born of necessity, when my pregnant daughter could not find a safe yet still luxurious body butter. I whipped up a combination of unrefined shea butter, unrefined cocoa butter, rice bran oil, and essential oil. I still sell that body butter, and it is a customer favorite.

Although I am not an artist, one of my favorite things about making soap is making it beautiful. Many of us assume that” beauty” and “natural” do not go together and quite frankly, there are some colors that simply cannot be made naturally in soap, such as a vibrant blue. However, natural soap can be just as lovely, especially when one dives into her creative side. Check out my White Wedding Soap, Carrot Orange Soap with Cocoa, Black Charcoal Facial Detox Soap, Cupcake Soap or Pink Sea Salt Bar and see what you think. All of the colors and scents in Vita Pulita Soaps are from natural and healthy sources, such as plant essential oils and ground up spices. If a color or scent cannot be made using this method, then it will not be made.


It wasn’t until recently that my father shared with me that his mother made soap in Italy from olive pomace left over from the farm. I was shocked, but not surprised. I was named for her after all (over the protests of my mother who did not care for the sound of “Anna Maria”), as I was born on the anniversary of her death. And I chose to name my company Vita Pulita, which means “clean life” in Italian, although I don’t speak Italian myself. Perhaps the founder of analytical psychology, Carl Jung, would say that my need to “soap” is part of my family collective unconscious, inherent in me. It certainly feels that way at times.

You can find Anne’s products online at the Vita Pulita website, on Etsy and seasonally at markets in Westchester County.

Join Us on 12/1 for the West Elm + Etsy Handmade Holiday Workshop & Mini-Market!

On Thursday, December 1st, West Elm stores across the country will be featuring gifts from local Etsy sellers, and Herban Lifestyle will be representing at Tyons Corner, in McLean, VA! At the Handmade Holiday Workshop & Mini-Mart, guests will have a chance make a holiday craft with an Etsy team and support a local charity. The Capital Region Etsy Street Team (CREST) will be at the Tysons event, and handmade ornaments and gifts donated at the event will benefit Jill’s House, a Vienna, VA non-profit that provides respite for children with intellectual disabilities and their families in the Greater Washington, DC area.

If you live somewhere other than the DC area, you can visit one of the other 37 West Elm locations to participate in the festivities, and contribute gifts and decorations to local charities chosen by each store. For more details, visit the West Elm website or RSVP on the Handmade Holiday Workshop & Mini-Mart Facebook Event Page.

So, I hope to see you on December 1st, from 6pm to 9pm!

West Elm
7866 L. Tysons Corner Center
McLean VA 22102