Friday, October 30, 2009

Fun Friday Finds ~ A Moment Captured in Time by Minnesota Photographers

By Jenna Halek ~ Artistic Edition


A Moment Captured in Time
by Minnesota Photographers
(Click on the image to enlarge)

Visit these Minnesota shops to see more:
Click on any of the names below
First Row (Left to Right): penguinpalace, gleighdesigns, RemadeRemedies, lynneanelson
Second Row (Left to Right): timelmphoto, emapalm, Costellos, NikkyLeeDesigns
Fourth Row (Left to Right): SunshineMel, mandamariedesigns, drbphotography, Trazy

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Inspire Me

by Cheri of From Out of the Cracks

“If you don’t jump, you won’t fall on your face; but you won’t get anywhere either!” Anonymous

Where does that creativity come from? What was the inspiration, the spark? Do you go somewhere to get inspired? Here is our featured HandmadeMN artist, Jane Carlson of Glorious Hats insight into making handmade


Jane says that inspiration sometimes comes before a piece is created and sometimes as it is being created. “Just getting ones head and hands into the process, following where the fabric and pattern lead, sends me off in different directions,” she says. “Each path chosen leads to another idea with the end result being a surprise. Sometimes the surprise is pleasing, sometimes it’s a disaster and that is what makes creating scary, fun, exciting and frustrating all at once.”

“Louise” began with a simple desire to make a large size flapper style hat and to use this fabulous teal wool that had been sitting in Jane’s fabric collection. “I had been thinking of making a flapper style helmet cloche to fit an average to large size head.” she says. “I previously made one similar to this from a 1920s pattern which looked great on displays, but the size was too small for most head.”




Jane then looked closely at the basic crown shapes of the original and draped a pattern on a size 22 head block. She added the bias band trim (the original pattern called for wool felt and had raw edges) and she also wanted the inside to be pretty, so she fussy cut the lining out of a rayon print, keeping a flower in the center of each piece.

After the crown and lining were basted together, Jane added the bias band. “I cut a long bias strip and pinned it around the rim, cut off the excess and when I tossed it aside it folded over and looked like a wing to me,” she says, “so I played with it and thought about it and then ran over to the buttons, belt and buckles storage unit, rummaged around and came up with a fabulous vintage belt buckle and viola - Wing! Louise actually purred when the wing was placed on her side,” Jane said.





Jane also Blogs, Tweets and has a Face Book fan page.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Button, Button, Who's Got The Button

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Row 1:
Red Button Bracelet by XOHandworks
The Little Red Duck by The Green Squirrel
Row 2:
Brooch - Mega Flower from upcycled wool and felt by Glorious Hats
Royal Blue Button Bobby Pins by Wynzia
Row 3:
Vintage Button Pendant by Kellybot
Multicolor Button Bracelet by Pattys Designs and Treasures

Sunday, October 25, 2009

HandmadeMN Giveaway - Notapotato

We are happy to bring you even more Minnesota handmade goodness for the holiday season! Between now and Christmas, we will be holding WEEKLY giveaways. Make sure to check back every Sunday to see what's new.

Today we bring you this fabulous coffee cozy and matching wristlet key fob, from Chrystie of Notapotato. Check out her shop for more fabulous treasures!



This cute, reusable coffee cozy is reversible, so you can pick whichever side suits your mood in the morning! One side features brightly colored floral shapes on a black background, while the other shows small leopard pattern in green. Sandwiched in between is a layer of terry cloth for insulation (and catching drips!). The sleeve closes with two snaps, meaning that it can be washed and stored flat if you like. Also included in the giveaway is a handy wristlet key fob featuring the same two fabrics. Eco-friendly and stylish...what more can you ask for?

How to Enter:
Visit Chrystie's shop on Etsy, pick your favorite item and leave a comment on this post about it. (Scroll to bottom of post and click on Comments, or just click here.)

Both US and International residents are eligible!

Please make sure we have a way to contact you!

For Bonus Entries:
Please leave each in a separate comment, as each comment is an entry (To qualify for extra entries you must do step one above).

1. Visit other HandmadeMN team members shops (listed in the sidebar here) and leave a comment(s) here with your favorite pieces.

2. Blog about this giveaway with a visible link back to this posting and comment here with a link to your post.

3. Tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment(s) with a link to your tweet(s).

4. Follow our blog (you want to do this anyway to learn about upcoming giveaways!). Leave a comment here letting us know you are a follower. If you are already a follower, leave a comment anyway, as each comment is an entry.

5. Follow HandmadeMN on Twitter. Comment back here with your Twitter link. Existing followers just leave your Twitter link here.

6. Become a HandmadeMN Facebook fan. Comment back here with your Facebook name. Existing fans just leave your Facebook name here.

7. Become Chrystie's Facebook fan. Comment back here with your Facebook name. Existing fans just leave your facebook name here.

8. Follow Chrystie on Twitter. Comment back here with your Twitter link. Existing followers just leave your Twitter link here.

Contest ends Saturday, November 7, at 12:00 noon Central. One winner will be chosen by Random.org.

Good luck!

HandmadeMN members are not eligible to win.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fun Friday Finds ~ October Birthstone ~ Shades of Rose

By Jenna Halek ~ Artistic Edition

October Birthstone
Shades of Rose
(Click on the image to enlarge)

Visit these HandmadeMN shops to see more:
Click on any of the names below
Fourth Row (Left to Right): musicalkitten, FennelStudio, auntiebonline, SkylarkDawn

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Featured Shop - Glorious Hats

By Sara of Auntie B Online

I've always loved hats. I love looking at them and I love wearing them. I'm not so excited about hat hair once I take the hat off, but that just means I should leave my hat on. (Didn't Joe Cocker sing a song about that?) When in New Orleans I could have spent an entire day trying on the hats in a millinery shop on Royal Street. Wonderful, wonderful hats. Hats are fun, and more people should wear them.

Jane Carlstrom has a shop on Etsy called Glorious Hats. I've also seen her hats in person at Artist Mercantile in St. Paul, MN, and believe me, they are glorious.

Here's one that is just cute as a button. Ha! Get it? It's called Buttons and Beads Straw Hat. So summery, and what a beautiful trim around the brim.


Here's one for the upcoming cooler months. This Wool Beret would give a touch of class and sass to an autumn outfit. My favorite part of this hat is the small splash of orange, the happiest color in the world.



This one is so very cool I can't even find words to express it. The Pagoda Percher is a lovely shade of lavender and so unique. It even comes with a hat pin! Jane sure knows the millinery business, and if you have questions about how to wear a hat with a hat pin I'm sure she'll be happy to enlighten you.

Wear hats and keep the art of hat making alive. The best place to start is at Glorious Hats. With one of Jane's hats you'll look simply divine.



Tuesday, October 20, 2009

October Challenge Winner

By Toni of Wild Dog Studio

Congratulations to Ann of Harvest Moon by Hand for winning October's HandmadeMN monthly challenge!

Thanks to all who participated in this month's challenge, and stay tuned for some great "Thankful For" entries in our next challenge!



Sunday, October 18, 2009

HandmadeMN Giveaway - SB Design

Congratulations to our latest giveaway winner, Mishia! Thanks to all who entered and we wish you good luck with this weeks giveaway!

Today we bring you this beautiful Zuni Bear Pendant, from Sarah of SB Design. Check out her shop!



This great little Zuni bear measures approx. 22mm x 18mm, and is made from precious metal clay ( .999 fine silver once fired). It has been hand stamped, tumbled, and hand polished. It is lightly oxidized to bring out the detail of the design. It comes on an 18" or 20" sterling silver snake chain, and is packaged in an organza bag decorated with stars and moons. It would make an excellent gift!, and is perfect for any occasion.

How to Enter:
Visit Sarah's shop on Etsy, pick your favorite item and leave a comment on this post about it. (Scroll to bottom of post and click on Comments, or just click here.)
Both US and International residents are eligible!

Please make sure we have a way to contact you!

For Bonus Entries:
Please leave each in a separate comment, as each comment is an entry (To qualify for extra entries you must do step one above).

1. Visit other HandmadeMN team members shops (listed in the sidebar here) and leave a comment(s) here with your favorite pieces.

2. Blog about this giveaway with a visible link back to this posting and comment here with a link to your post.

3. Tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment(s) with a link to your tweet(s).

4. Follow our blog (you want to do this anyway to learn about upcoming giveaways!). Leave a comment here letting us know you are a follower. If you are already a follower, leave a comment anyway, as each comment is an entry.

5. Follow HandmadeMN on Twitter. Comment back here with your Twitter link. Existing followers just leave your Twitter link here.

6. Become a Facebook fan. Comment back here with your Facebook name. Existing fans just leave your Facebook name here.

7. Become Sarah's Facebook fan. Comment back here with your Facebook name. Existing fans just leave your facebook name here.

Contest ends Saturday, October 31, at 12:00 noon Central. One winner will be chosen by Random.org.

Good luck!

HandmadeMN members are not eligible to win.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Maria Show

Maria Thomas, CEO of Etsy, visits HandmadeMN at Nye’s Bar in Minneapolis, MN

By Corrin of Athena’s Little Owl

As soon as I entered the banquet room in the basement of Nye’s, I was immediately greeted by a friendly and casually dressed woman. At first thought I was meeting one of the HandmadeMN team leaders. However, as soon as she said, “Hi, I’m Maria,” I knew the woman in the black hoodie and German “I heart Etsy” vintage style tee was indeed the brains behind the Etsy empire. Her down-to-earth style and clear intelligence surprised us at first, and then held us captive the entire night.

Very soon after, a great showing of the HandmadeMN team filled the banquet room at Nye’s. The community of the HandmadeMN team was apparent as people who had only met briefly at shows, or through online discussions, were suddenly immersed in conversations centered around the opportunity of having a chance to not only hear Maria speak, but be able to open a forum to discuss the site that brought us all together.

Maria (center) and HandmadeMN team members

Maria spoke well, telling of her history at places like NPR and Amazon.com, as well as her desire to make Etsy a lasting business. The crowd of about sixty Etsians learned from Maria about the behind the scenes world of Etsy: 65 employees all dedicated to making the site the best it can be. She also spoke to the need to continue bringing in more consistent buyers, and the company’s plan to avoid “traditional” marketing. Maria also shared her appreciation for the dossier put together by Diana, and her plan to read through the pages describing the HandmadeMN members and our wishes for Etsy. Many members seemed to feel relieved that not only are their concerns ones that Maria shares as well, but that Maria herself is friendly, competent, engaging, and funny.


A common topic during the Q and A session was how to better organize the structure of the site, and to make it more user friendly. Ian of Etsyhacks suggested welcoming new sellers with a “seller’s guide” and continuing to support growing and experienced sellers with appropriate and leveled information. Other questions dealt with the fact that Etsy doesn’t own the payment system or the shipping vehicles; so giving customers coupons or allowing them to choose shipping options becomes difficult. There was also a dialogue opened about archiving the “Virtual Labs” so that more people can use the valuable information gained in those sessions.

The HandmadeMN swag bag

After a fairly lengthly discussion and Q&A session, Maria recognized the need to let everyone mingle, talk, eat and drink. Kelly jumped in to present Maria with the MN “swag bag” filled with treasures from many HandmadeMN members. She was touched, and planned on sharing the bag with Etsy staff at their next meeting. Maria joined many conversations that began as the crowd began to mingle, and once again, seemed to blend right into the group of Minnesotans.

“If Etsy somehow becomes non-human, I have failed.” Maria’s words speak to her desire to keep Etsy a community. Not only a group made up of unique people selling and buying handmade, one of a kind, and cherished items, but also that the business itself needs to keep the human touch. If Maria was looking to build community on Thursday night at Nye’s, she succeeded.





Friday, October 16, 2009

Fun Friday Finds ~ Wayward Tree

By Jenna Halek ~ Artistic Edition

Wayward Tree
(Click on the image to enlarge)

Visit these HandmadeMN shops to see more:
Click on any of the names below
First Row (Left to Right): WildDogStudio, saffronsparrow, mepottery, AngelEllie
Second Row (Left to Right): JulieMeyer, XOHandworks, kellybot, greensquirrel

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Minnesota Hot Dish

by Cheri of From Out of the Cracks

Our very first recipe for the new Minnesota Hot Dish feature comes from HandmadeMN team member Kat Lewinski from The Snuggery. This special recipe is not only a Minnesota hot dish but Kat created this recipe for an online cooking challenge called the Royal Foodie Joust. “We had to create a dish using mushrooms, noodles & cauliflower” she says. “It was fun introducing people around the world to the fabled Minnesota dish”.

How Minnesota authentic can we get for our very first recipe…thanks Kat! Check out Kat’s food blog A Good Appetite.




Twin Cities Hotdish


1/2 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 T olive oil
salt & pepper
6 oz egg noodles
1 c yellow onion, peeled & roughly chopped
3/4 lb lean ground beef
2 c chopped baby bella mushrooms, chopped
1 T unsalted butter, divided
1 T all-purpose flour
pinch dried thyme
large pinch cayenne
1/2 c half & half
3/4 c chicken broth
1/2 T dry sherry
1/4 c grated Wisconsin Bierkase (beer cheese)panko

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Place the cauliflower & olive oil in a small roasting pan. Stir to coat. Season with salt. Roast the cauliflower until starting to brown about 20 minutes. Set aside.

Cook the egg noodles according to the package until al dente, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Heat a skillet with just a little olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions & cook until starting to brown. Add the ground beef & cook through. Drain any grease & set aside. Season with salt & pepper.

Melt 1/2 T of the butter in the skillet. Add the mushrooms & cook until tender about 3 -4 minutes. Season with salt & pepper.

In a saucepan, melt the remaining butter over medium-high heat. Stir in the flour, thyme, cayenne & some salt & pepper. Stir while cooking for one minute. Add the half & half & continue stirring until thickened. Stir in the mushrooms, chicken broth & sherry. Cook until bubbly & thick. (If not thick enough stir in a little more flour mixed with a little broth.) Check seasoning & add more as needed.

Mix the mushroom soup, noodles, beef & onions together in a casserole dish. Press down with the back of a spoon into the dish. Mix the cauliflower together with the grated cheese. Layer on top of the noodle mixture. Sprinkle panko over the top. Bake 30 -40 minutes.

Serves 4


This beautiful casserole dish comes from Etsy Shop Pottery by Miriam. Wouldn't Kat's Twin City Hot Dish look delicious in this?!




Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Book Review - Nature Printing with Herbs, Fruits, and Flowers

by Ann Rinkenberger of Harvest Moon by Hand


At 90 pages, Nature Printing with Herbs, Fruits, and Flowers by Laura Donnelly Bethmann, packs in helpful advice in creating beautiful stationery, gift wrap, framed pictures; and embellishing fabric, garments, walls, and furniture.


She shows how to use various types of paints, inks, and plant juices as well as different objects to print with (e.g., flowers, leaves, vegetables, fruits, shells, fish, feathers, spiderweb).





The book is in full-color and has many illustrations which is helpful and inspiring. It includes sections about the history of nature printing; collecting and pressing plant materials; printing supplies and equipment; basic and specialized nature printing methods; nature printing projects, and a resource guide.


The last three pages of the book feature printing projects for children. Different methods are explained (e.g., nature streaking, copying, stamping). There is a lovely free-standing frieze made by a 12 year old girl.


This is a must-have book for anyone who enjoys plants, nature, and art. It is a perfect time to do the projects in the book before fall and winter in Minnesota when outdoor plants are not as easy to find.



Image from Penguin Palooza

Monday, October 12, 2009

A visit from Etsy CEO



Heads up, Twin Cities! Etsy's CEO Maria Thomas is coming to town. All the details are in this Storque article.

When: Thursday, October 15th, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Where:
Nye's Polonaise, 112 E. Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis

The HandmadeMN street team is really excited to be hosting Etsy in one of Minnesota's great cities. See you there!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fun Friday Finds ~ Ode to Etsy...HandmadeMN Style

By Jenna Halek ~ Artistic Edition


Ode to Etsy...
HandmadeMN Style
(Click on the image to enlarge)

Visit these HandmadeMN shops to see more:
Click on any of the names below
First Row (Left to Right): penguinpalace, Crafterall, cayennepeppy, JustAnotherDay

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Contemplative Knitting: Calming the "Monkey Mind"

by prayer bedes



If you are familiar with yoga practices, you are probably also familiar with the metaphor of the monkey mind. The monkey mind flits from tree to tree in a constant state of chatter. I have a theory that creative people are particularly prone to this state of mind as they find new ideas frequently emerging.


Maybe that is why I, and my own monkey mind, am drawn to contemplative practices to create balance in my life. I have also found that those practices can be applied to many repetitive actions.


I have always wished I was a "knitter." Yes, I have tried on a few occasions throughout my life to master the craft, but have only managed to accomplish creating long, narrow, inconsistent strips that were supposed to be scarves.


Whenever fall rolls around, I have thoughts that this might be the season I learn to knit. Somehow, fall creates a sense of nostalgia in me and I tend to be drawn to activities that are reminiscent of days gone by. I also tend to make to-do lists and attempt to return to more structure in my life after the free-form days of summer. I think I actually tend to make more resolutions in the fall than at the new year.


Okay, time to reign in the monkeys. I have somehow managed to flit to trees further away than I intended.


Knitting is a repetitive action, and many have found it a way in which to enter a state of meditation and contemplation. Google blogger, Wonderland Knits, reflects on a book called Zen and the Art of Knitting: Exploring the links between Knitting, Spirituality, and Creativity by Bernadette Murphy. She describes this state of contemplation as "'the zone' - that mental place where time looses structure, and the task at hand becomes the whole world." She goes on to say, "As a form of meditation, knitting can decrease one's heart rate, slow breathing, and have lasting positive effects on the body."


When I ran across this blog, Knitting &, I considered that for all these years I just might have been missing the point of knitting. My expectations were always to create something "useful", yet maybe it is just the process that is "useful" for me.



Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Creative Spaces: Cindy Lindgren

By Kat of The Musical Kitten



Meet Cindy Lindgren, owner of the store CindyLindgren on Etsy.

Tucked away near the beautiful landscapes of Lake Harriet in Minneapolis, Cindy creates her illustrations in her 10x12 room on the second story of her home.

Cindy keeps much on hand for inspiration. “I have many garden books, art books, art prints by friends and items I collect while traveling or shopping,” she says. “Someday I'd like to have a print by my favorite artist Charley Harper to hang in my studio.”

This space is sometimes full of other creators, including her black cat, son and husband, the graphic designer.

Set up in her studio with the drawing table and supplies across the room from her laptop, Cindy keeps her business organized between bins, file folders and notebooks. Bookcases hug the room and remnants of her days as an airbrush artist peek out from time to time.

“I'm in the studio every day either working on freelance illustration projects, art projects for my Etsy shop or general art projects,” she says – like the mosaics she creates just for fun. Her projects range from logos, to patterns, to illustrations drawn by hand and then scanned into her computer for digital editing. Her greeting cards are drawn from flower samples she buys or photographs, and are then made into digital files for printing.

Inspired by a piece of her own art her husband had framed for her one year, Cindy also keeps a secret stash of chocolates in her art taboret among a bin of Lake Superior rocks she has collected – we all need that chocolatey bliss to keep us going once in awhile!

Find Cindy at her Etsy shop: www.cindylindgren.etsy.com
View Cindy’s illustrations online: www.cindylindgren.com

If you are interested in being featured in a Creative Spaces article, please email Kat at themusicalkitten@gmail.com for details!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

HandmadeMN Giveaway - Artistic Edition

Congratulations to our latest giveaway winner, Meg of LittleAngelbyMeg! Thanks to all who entered and we wish you good luck with this week's giveaway!


Today we bring you these adorable hair accessories from Jenna Halek at Artistic Edition. Almost everyone has heard of, or has played the game Barrel of Monkeys right? Well, Jenna has taken this fun game to a whole new level of play and turned them in to fun hair snap accessories. Jenna is giving away 4 miniature (1" x 3/4") Red Barrel of Monkey Hair Snaps PLUS a cute little blue barrel to put them in. They are the perfect hair accessory for the kid at heart!


A quick bit of info about Artistic Edition hair snaps...they are very versatile and can be placed (snapped) pretty much anywhere in your hair. They lie flush against your hair and offer a wider range of placement options than traditional hair accessories! They are incredibly easy to use. If you can work metal snaps on a shirt you can put these little babes in your hair! Your hair can be up, down, curly or straight - it will look fabulous with Artistic Edition hair snaps.

How to Enter:
Visit Jenna's shop on Etsy , pick your favorite item and leave a comment on this post about it. (Scroll to bottom of post and click on Comments, or just click here.)

Both US and International residents are eligible!

Please make sure we have a way to contact you!

For Bonus Entries:
Please leave each in a separate comment, as each comment is an entry (To qualify for extra entries you must do step one above).

1. Visit other HandmadeMN team members shops (listed in the sidebar here) and leave a comment(s) here with your favorite pieces.

2. Blog about this giveaway with a visible link back to this posting and comment here with a link to your post.

3. Tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment(s) with a link to your tweet(s).

4. Follow our blog (you want to do this anyway to learn about upcoming giveaways!). Leave a comment here letting us know you are a follower. If you are already a follower, leave a comment anyway, as each comment is an entry.

5. Follow HandmadeMN on Twitter. Comment back here with your Twitter link. Existing followers just leave your Twitter link here.

6. Become a Facebook fan. Comment back here with your Facebook name. Existing fans just leave your Facebook name here.

7. Follow Artistic Edition on Twitter. Comment back here with your Twitter link. Existing followers just leave your Twitter link here.

8. Become an Artistic Edition Facebook fan. Comment back here with your Facebook name. Existing fans just leave your Facebook name here.

Contest ends Saturday, October 17th at 12:00 noon Central. One winner will be chosen by Random.org.

Good luck!

HandmadeMN members are not eligible to win.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Fun Friday Finds ~ Spirit of Halloween

By Jenna Halek ~ Artistic Edition

Spirit of Halloween
(Click on the image to enlarge)

Visit these HandmadeMN shops to see more:
Click on any of the names below
First Row (Left to Right): magickalrealism, palettepassion, waternymph, Bryanica
Second Row (Left to Right): RitasCreationsOnEtsy, SuzAndRoo, TCWitchcraftFactory, glorioushats
Third Row (Left to Right): mepottery, lilylunagardener, SteampunkVintage, cayennepeppy
Fourth Row (Left to Right): PlushroomSoup, TheCozyCorsetCuff, Fandangled, XOHandworks