Monday, May 2, 2016

Mother's Day Gift Guide

by Cindy Lindgren
Cindy Lindgren

How would you describe your Mom? Is she the kind that loves doing crafts? Would you find her curled up with a good book, if she had free time? Or maybe she loves personalized gifts that remind her of her children?  Our HandmadeMN team members have a gift for your kind of Mom. Click the purple title to link to their Etsy shop for more information. They are all handmade with love.

For a Mom who loves nature and flowers, a hand-painted silk scarf

For the Mom who has a lot to carry, a personalized Tote Bag that is pretty, stylish and water-resistant

For the Mom who wants to keep her kids close to her heart, a Mother's Gemstone Charm 

For a Mom who likes bright colors, fresh style, and a light weight fabric purse

For the Craft Mom who deserves the best of everything, a Letter Punch Set

For the Mom who loves bling, a Recycled Silver Tote 

For the Mom, Grandma or Aunt who loves a touch of the unique, a Terrarium Wall Globe Kit

For the Mom or Grandma who loves celebrating her family in her own special way, a Custom Necklace

For the Mom who's a nature lover, or wine lover or both, a Silver Grape Leaf Necklace

For the new Mom, a Handlebar Purse that attaches to a stroller

For the religious Mom, a Blacksmith Forged Iron "Celtic" Cross

For a Mom who lover flowers and bright colors, a  Hand Painted Silk Scarf with Pink Poppies

For the Mom who likes personalized gifts and art, a Custom Child Silhouette Portrait

For the 'whole' Mom, a Custom Letter Illustration that celebrates your unique Mom

A keepsake for your Mom, her Birthstone on a Hammered Fine Silver Circle Necklace

For the Mom who likes, no, NEEDS, coffee. A Spongeware Coffee Dripper

For the Mom who lends out her books and never gets them back, Bird Book Plate Stickers

For the Mom facing challenges with grace, Inspiring Necklaces
For Mom's who love nature, an eco print silk scarf with Butternut and Cedar trees
For the Mom that enjoys bees, honey, avocado dip and poses as a film noir star while contemplating her next eco-friendly move, Honeycomb Earrings.

Friday, April 29, 2016

May arts and crafts shows around Minnesota (and Wisconsin)

By Sharon Parker
Arty Didact

Mother's Day is coming up on Sunday, May 8, and isn't it convenient that there are two popular art-and-craft fairs taking place on the day before, one in St. Paul and the other in Minneapolis. That means you can skip the malls and big box retailers and buy handmade gifts directly from the makers. Yay! And maybe a little something for yourself, too. 

Here's the line-up of May events, with a peek at items from some of the members of HandmadeMN who will be there. 

Saturday, May 7, from 10 to 5, at the  Progress Center, Minnesota State Fairgrounds, St. Paul. 

Look for these fabulous HandmadeMN artists when you go.

Cindy Lindgren, with cards, art prints and fabric in the Craftsman Nouveau style, like this beautiful Craftsman-style print of red poppies.

Poppies art print by Cindy Lindgren

KiyiKiyi, featuring unique soaps, lotions, bathbombs and lip balms. How about some colorful Alice in Wonderland inspired goat milk and olive oil soap? Doesn't that sound luxurious?

Alice in Wonderland goat milk soap by Kiyi Kiyi

Caddie Jo Designs, selling handmade cotton laminate raincoats and rainhats, and colorful cotton dresses and skirts. Maybe a cute colorful raincoat will be just the thing for a little girl you know.

Girl's raincoat by Caddie Jo Designs

Kaleidoscope Kitty, selling handspun yarn, like this beautiful colorful skein of silk yarn.

Handspun silk yarn by Kaleidoscope Kitty

LyricCol Design will be showcasing hand-painted totes and towels, like this cotton canvas tote with  more pretty poppies.

Hand stenciled cotton tote from LyricCol Designs

Nokomis Spring Urban Craft and Art Fair 
Saturday, May 7, from 9:30 to 4 p.m., at Lake Nokomis Community Center, 2401 Minnehaha Parkway, Minneapolis. 

The following members of HandmadeMN will be there:

Jeff Ambroz: Mixed media artwork and hand-crafted goods

Suz and Roo: Fun handmade jewelry and vintage-inspired tees

Mimi's Fun Stuff: Handwoven bags & purses, handwoven shawls, upcycled denim cell phone bags, purses & totes

Metaling Susie: Handmade rustic metal jewelry

Susie B. Handicraft: Pet toys, pet beds, recycled storage containers, recycled tote bags

Next weekend, May 14–15, we've got one at the fairgrounds in St. Paul again, and another in Duluth's lovely Lester Park.

May 14–15; Saturday from 10 to 6 and Sunday from 10 to 5, at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds grandstand. There you'll find delightfully nerd-centric practical items from Daydreamers Emporium, such as handlebar purses, coasters, and handy bags (top-handle bags)

Second Saturday Marketplace   On May 14, Saturday only, from 10 to 3, at Lester Park Community Center, 106 N. 54th Ave. S., Duluth (take 5th Ave. off E. Superior St.) Among the participating artists is Tanya Beyer, with her original watercolors and mixed media featuring native flowers, wild birds and landscapes of the Upper Midwest, plus cards and prints.

May 20–22; Friday from 5 to 10 p.m., Saturday noon–8, and Sunday noon–5, at sites all around Northeast Minneapolis. 

See these HandmadeMN artists at the following sites:

In the Food Building, 1401 Marshall St. NE (55413) Shadow Box Art presents wooden shadow boxes filled with natural items.

And at the Grain Belt Bottling House, 79 13th Ave NE (55413), Cheri C. Meyer showcases her jewelry made with elaborate beadweaving techniques.

The final weekend of the month, Memorial Day weekend, offers a couple of fun destination events for art and craft loving road trippers (as well as those who happen to live in  or near Webster, Wisconsin and Brainerd, Minnesota, of course).

Arts and Crafts Extravaganza
Sat., May 28, from 9 to 4, on the grounds of the Webster, Wisconsin, elementary school. 

Look for functional rock creations made with stones sourced from around Lake Superior by  Naturally Unique Rock.

And rounding out the month, Brainerd, Minnesota, is the site of the 
Olde Depot Junktion
May 28–29, Saturday from 10 to 5, and Sunday from 10 to 2, at the Northern Pacific Event Center, 1511 Northern Pacific Road, Brainerd 56401. 

For $8 admission, see dozens of vendors displaying and selling an eclectic mix of fabulous items, and look for unique lamps and shades from LightReading as well.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Relax with White

By Jeff Ambroz

During the spring and summer, Minnesotans surround themselves with color.  We put on breezy attire of every shade, and enjoy the many vibrant hues of nature in our yards, parks and outdoor patios.  Even our dinner plates get more colorful, as we enjoy the bounty of summer fruits and vegetables.  Everywhere we look, there’s an abundance of color.

Fun, yes.  Relaxing?  Not so much.

That’s probably why white—pure, crisp and clean white—becomes so appealing this time of year.  Several HandmadeMN member shops are ready with handcrafted goods to help you to relax and refresh with the white trend.
Hang floral art by ChasedbyBeauty in your living room or porch, and provide a place for your eyes to rest and daydream in the summer breeze.  

ShopMayfieldLane's monogrammed guest towels will provide an instant pick-up to your bath.  While you’re at it, fill a tall clear glass vase with white coconut bath bombs from KiyiKiyi, and make your bath a relaxing retreat from the summer hubbub.
Stylish hand towels by ShopMayfieldLane
Coconut scented bath bombs by KiyiKiyi
We all know summertime is the right time to entertain.  Send crisp white note cards for invitations from vandaliastreetpress, and keep another stack of white thank you cards handy.  That way, you can offer appreciation to those who host you and yours in these warm months.
Crisp white paper goods by vandaliastreetpress

While you’re out and about, you may want to keep the calm, chill vibe with you all day.  Wear a scented vanilla cupcake pendant by tinyhands.  You’ll look as cute as, well… a cupcake!
Sweet little cupcake necklace by tinyhands

Be sure to explore these shops, and all the shops of HandmadeMN, as you select the perfect items for a peaceful and relaxing summer season.