Thursday, March 23, 2017

Handmade, with a Mid-century Modern Twist

by Jeff Ambroz

Though its origins began decades before, Mid-century Modern style came to define the aesthetics of the post-World War II era.  This space-age design movement emphasized simplicity, clean lines and an optimistic feel.

With current prices for mint-condition furniture, art, jewelry and décor items in the Mid-century Modern vein reaching stratospheric heights, is it possible to enjoy this streamlined style on a budget?  Yes it is, and the makers of HandmadeMN are here to help.

Mid-century Modern styles range from the hip and cheeky, to the refined and subdued.  A scarf from WittyKnittyDesigns reflects the playful side of Mid-century Modern; while a hexagon necklace from GroundSubstance reflects a more architectural and stripped-down design approach.

This wooden puzzle by WhovilleCreations features illustrations just like those you’d see in 1950’s-era publications from Europe.  Click on the link to see the many different puzzles your favorite toddler can complete with this 3-block set.

Here’s a mini quilt from MyBitofWonder than can be used as a wall decoration, mug rug, trivet, candle mat and more.  Its simple, geometric shapes and cheerful color palette evoke the spirit of the space age.

Whether you call her Jacqueline Kennedy or Jackie O., there’s no disputing it:  she was America’s ultimate Mid-century style icon.  Bring a little Jackie glamor to your space with this fun pillow from LochNessMPLS

While we may never reach the style status of our favorite Jackie, we all can enjoy confident and hopeful designs inspired by the Mid-century Modern era.  Browse the Etsy shops of HandmadeMN makers for even more items reflecting the beauty of this important design movement.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Julie Meyer to Premier at American Craft Show

by Cindy Lindgren

Tell us about yourself, your Etsy shop and how long you've been a member of HandmadeMN
In 2008 I stumbled on a link to Etsy and opened my shop about 2 months later selling oil cloth lunch bags and trimmed cleaning gloves. I became a member of HandmadeMN shortly after joining Etsy and joined in on those early meetings at coffee shops as we devised the ‘how-to’s’ of running team craft shows.
Julie Meyer in her studio

How did you get started as a handbag designer?
I spent a few years working with fabric and canvas honing my skills and bag engineering designs before I purchased my industrial machine and first few leather hides. I construct each bag from design to hand-cutting leather, and construction of bags with finished interiors.
I enjoy using quality top grain leather and hair-on cowhides to create bags that are meant to be used everyday and become more beautiful with age.

What is the American Craft Council show and why did you decide to enter to show there?
The American Craft Council began 75 years ago as a way to support professional makers and recognize the significant impact craft has on individuals and communities.  When ACC moved to St. Paul several years ago, HandmadeMN was asked to participate in the St. Paul show where I nervously did an upcycle presentation using plastic bags. I was in awe of the quality of handmade items I saw that day, and knew this was the pinnacle of where I wanted to showcase my items when I was ready.

How are you designing your booth and what will you display in it?
I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the look of my display and how people will move through my booth. The booths at ACC are larger and people spend more time browsing than they might at a typical craft show. I’m planning my space as if it’s a little store for lingering versus how can I grab the attention of someone strolling by in a crowded craft show.

Who is this show geared towards and what do you expect to accomplish?
People come to indie art shows generally with someone in mind they are shopping for: sister, friend, mother, etc. I believe those coming to ACC are shopping for themselves. They are looking for something of quality for themselves and I’m excited to share with them the bags I make!

What are the dates, place and times of the show?

St. Paul RiverCenter
(admission is $12 except where noted)

April 6: 6-9pm (preview party; $75)

April 7: 10am - 8pm ($5 after 5)

April 8: 10am - 6pm

April 9: 11am - 5pm

Julie Meyer/Etsy shop

Congratulations to Julie for reaching her goal of exhibiting at the American Craft Show! I encourage you to attend to see not only Julie's work but other topnotch artisans from around the country.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Irish Gift Guide

by Susie Crouse
Metaling Susie

Shamrock Onesie by BethieAnnBaby
Most of us know to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day in hope to share in the luck of the Irish.  The day celebrates the the death of St. Patrick, the foremost patron saint of Ireland.  But did you know according to legend, Saint Patrick used the three-leaved shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to Irish pagans.  St. Patrick's revelers also thought wearing green made one invisible to leprechauns and kept them from getting pinched!  See how Minnesota artist interpret this celebrated holiday.  Give a handmade Irish gift to your someone special.  ☘️

A great St. Patrick's Day statement necklace named "The Temple Bar" after the famous Dublin pub by  GemNorde.
Irish blessing by Eve Brown.

Hand painted silk scarf in Irish greens by PalettePassion!
Personalized drink coasters by My Little Chick.

Luck of the Irish to be your own or your best lass by MetalingSusie

The luck of the Irish 🍀 Shamrock inspired leather and copper hair cuff by Chatter by Hammer