Made in Pittsburgh: Gandy Bars


dulcimer kit -

A Gandy Bar, is definitely not a candy bar – but is a whole lot of fun.  A Gandy bar is a three stringed instrument that is a cross between a dulcimer and a guitar.  Each gandy bar is made by hand by Gad and Andy right here in Pittsburgh.

You can purchase a complete  Gandy Bar or a kit to make your own Gandy Bar at home.

Visit to purchase or stop my the IMadeIt Market today (Saturday, May 24, 2014 – apologies to our email readers who might not see this post till the workweek) at South Side works to say hello to Andy and try one out.

Here is a video of Andy explaining the instrument:

Details for the IMadeIt Market on Saturday, May 24.

Pittsburgh Craft Market SouthSide Works

Polish Hill’s Annual Arts Festival this Sunday

polish-hill-arts2013_webWhat could be a better way to beat the Sunday blues than heading over to Polish Hill for its annual arts festival? Started in 2008, the festival features crafters, food trucks, and live music.

There will be over 30 vendors present, and these aren’t your rinky-dink, run of the mill crafts. Polish Hill Arts Festival posted “previews” of the some vendors, and they are selling truly unique and beautiful art (including the previously featured John the Craftist). From wall art to silver jewelry, the festival offers a wide range of vendors–there’s something for everyone.

The event appeals to all ages, offering free arts and crafts activities for adults and children alike. If you aren’t feeling crafty, there will also be live performances throughout the day, featuring local bands.

The festival runs from noon-9p.m. on Sunday July 21st. You can find all the action at the intersection of Brereton and Dobson streets. For more information check out Polish Hill Arts Festival’s Facebook page.

Cultural District’s Gallery Crawl Tonight


Looking for something to do tonight? Want to do something free? Want to culture yourself? Impress your friends with newfound knowledge of artistry? (Maybe that last part’s just me.) Come join other partons of the arts at the Cultural District’s free quarterly Gallery Crawl. The crawl runs tonight, Friday, July 12th, from 5:30-9 p.m., and participants can start from any of the many locations.

There is so much going on at the crawl tonight, but I’ll include some unique highlights here. There’s comedy, a cell phone disco, documentaries, live music, photography, yoga, a night arts market, dance lessons, and, of course art.

Check out the Cultural Trust’s page or the brochure below for more details.





Knit the Bridge is still looking for neighborhoods! Are you one of them?

Knit the Bridge has been mapping out all it's participants.

Knit the Bridge has been mapping out all of its participants.

Knit the Bridge has been hard at work prepping to yarn bomb the Andy Warhol Bridge starting August 10th until September 8th. According to their website, “Knit the Bridge is a vision for a grassroots, community-led arts project that would bring the many diverse communities of Pittsburgh and Southwestern Pennsylvania together to create a large-scale, aesthetically stunning, fiberarts installation on a bridge in downtown Pittsburgh.”

As of right now, Pittsburgh neighborhoods are at 80% participation and Allegheny County’s municipalities are at 82%. KTB wants 100% participation in both of these categories and needs your help to do so! Do you or an organization you know of from any of the following neighborhoods or municipalities want to help? Here are three ways you can:


KTB wants to raise $35,000 by July 12 at midnight through their Indiegogo campaign. There are also some perks that come along with set donation amounts. If you donate $60, not only will you be helping out, but you get an awesome t-shirt!

Donate here!

Make a Railing

KTB still needs railing covers made from black acrylic yarn. They can be knitted (stockinette stitch) or crocheted (double crocheted) and need to be either 9” x 105” or 15” x 80”. Completed railing covers can then be dropped off at any of the drop-off points listed here by July 31st.


If you are 18 years or older and want to help install the panels and railings when the project goes up starting August 10th, sign up here or email at  You must commit to at least one 3-hour shift and attend a training session. Training days are required and are scheduled for the following dates:

Thursday July 25 7-8pm

Saturday July 27, 11-noon

Sunday July 28, 1-2pm

Wednesday July 31st, 1-2pm

Missing Pittsburgh Neighborhoods

East Carnegie
Duquesne Heights
South Shore
Bon Air
Arlington Heights
New Homestead
Glen Hazel
Spring Garden

Black railings that will be used on the Andy Warhol Bridge.

Black railings that will be used on the Andy Warhol Bridge.

Missing Allegheny County Municipalities
East Deer Township
Borough of Springdale
Springdale Township
Frazer Township
Kennedy Township
Borough of White Oak
Borough of Versailles
South Versailles Township
Borough of Wall
Borough of Trafford
Stowe Township
Borough of Leetsdale
Borough of Rosslyn Farms
Neville Township
Borough of Glenfield
Borough of Haysville
Borough of Liberty
Borough of Lincoln
Borough of Pitcairn
Borough of West Homestead
City of Duquesne
Borough of Dravosburg
Borough of West Elizabeth

Steel of the Week: Yinzer Bingo

This week’s featured Steel of the Week is Yinzer Bingo by John the Craftist. Seen at Boutique 208, you are sure to get a kick out of this unique bingo card if you are from the Pittsburgh area. All the spaces on the card are relevant to the area, such as “Road Work”, “Pothole”, “Terrible Towel”, “Big Ben Jersey”, with some of the more culturally unique ones being ”Pgh Left”, “Jean Shorts”, “Confusing Intersection”, “80s Bangs”, and “Jagoff”. John the Craftist’s products mostly consist of PGH-centric/Pittsburghese greeting cards, along with magnets, keychains, buttons, gift tags, and other small paper craft items. Zodiac birthday cards are also available. All the products are handprinted, handcut, and hand-folded by John the Craftist, who is actually Thea Okonak of Aspinwall.Yinzer Bingo


Along with Boutique 208, John’s stockists include The Mattress Factory Museum, The Shop at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Wildcard in Lawrenceville, Koolkat Designs in Mt. Lebanon, and Nota Bene in Aspinwall. John also vends at he I Made It! Market events, and this past year sold with Koolkat Designs at the Three Rivers Arts Festival and with Steeltown Etsy at Handmade Arcade.

You can get a first look at new cards by checking out the Facebook page, This is where you can also find out the next vending location and interact to give feedback or stories about the products you’ve enjoyed!

Have an item you would like featured as our Steel of the Week? Submit to!