Friday, November 29, 2013

Fun Friday Finds ~ Minnesota N"ice"

By Mollie

It's been a tad chilly in these here parts. Feels a lot like January with the brisk wind that hits down to the bone and the single digit temps. Brrrrrr. Or should I say, "Grrrrr." (Speaking for myself, I am not ready for that yet.) But I will say, the icy temps have been a great source of inspiration for this week's Fun Friday Finds.

If you are out and about on this Black Friday, be sure to bundle up. And don't spend all your time in those large stores and all your money on items for sale that are produced en-mass. The artisans and creators of the shops on the HandmadeMN team would love to have you visit their stores for Small Business Saturday, November 30.

{source unknown}

Take a moment to celebrate the small business with us - we have over 450 members all over this great state of Minnesota. You can visit our shops online, and for many, you can even find us in your neighborhood. {Here's a small list of shops where our members can be found.}

Please include HandmadeMN shops in your list of places to shop this season. Shop Minnesota N"ice".

HandmadeMN Fun Friday Finds ~ Minnesota N"ice"
{Click on the image above to visit the Etsy Treasury and the shops featured.}
You can't go wrong, you are sure to find a gift that is "just perfect" for that person who may have everything, and the personal touch, great care in the uniquely handmade and small business service is exactly what the weatherman ordered.
Thank you from all of us at HandmadeMN for your support and continued patronage.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Getting to know MinneBites

Mary Pow is the creator of the handmade indie 
brand MinneBites. She is a designer with a Master’s of Architecture degree. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and their three children. She sneaks into her cozy home studio to design and sew whenever she gets a chance.

Creative Journey
Years ago, my husband and I went to check out a huge craft fair on one of our rare dates without the kids. As we walked through the show I remember being amazed at all the talent and creativity I saw there. But more than that, I remember that I left the show inexplicably sad, and even jealous.

As I look back now, I understand why I felt that way. It seemed that I could never achieve or have time for what those crafters got to do. I was a stay-at-home mom with two boys under the age of 2-1/2. I had recently left my job at an architectural firm. I had no creative outlet and I was disappointed that I wasn’t using the degree I had worked so hard to achieve. I was only “mom” and, although I loved my life, I felt stuck and unfulfilled creatively.

I never would have guessed that, just a few years later, I would be designing and selling handmade bags and cases to customers all over the world. In fact, the path I took to get me to where I am now has seemed to appear almost magically before me. All I had to do was follow my heart (and work really hard!).

The amazing path I’ve followed led me to a job that is both artistically rewarding and flexible enough to allow me to take care of my three kids. And, although people may imagine that all I do is sew, sew, sew – having an online shop and running a handmade business is more than just making the craft itself. In addition to sewing my bags, I do product photography, photo editing, and graphic design. I spend time hunting for supplies, choosing fabrics and suppliers, and creating new designs. Furthermore, I write copy for listings, talk with customers, interact with Facebook fans, and continuously improve my online shop and products. 

I’ve come full-circle since I left that craft fair feeling inadequate and sad. In fact, this December I’m going to be a vendor at that very same craft fair: the Holiday No Coast Craft-o-Rama in Minneapolis! I will get to sell my own handmade wares at the very place where I thought it was something I could never possibly do.

I feel so excited and satisfied to be at this place in my life. And I want to thank you for allowing me to share my creative journey with you! I hope to see you all at the 2013 Holiday No Coast Craft-o-Rama (Dec. 6 & 7 at the Midtown Global Market). Stop by my booth and say hello!

MinneBites has been featured on Apartment Therapy, Babyology, Cool Mom Picks, Daily Candy, Buzzfeed, Child Mode, Illustration Friday as well as numerous blogs and websites.

Holiday No Coast Craft-o-Rama 2013
Midtown Exchange
2901 Chicago Avenue S. Minneapolis, MN 55104

Dates and Times:
Friday, December 6: 3pm-8pm
Saturday, December 7: 9am-5pm

Friday, November 22, 2013

Fun Friday Finds: Not Your Mother's Craft Fair

By Sharon Parker
Arty Didact

We here at HandmadeMN have a big craft market comin' up on Saturday, don'tcha know. And, bein' good Minnesotans and all, we figured we'd rent the VFW hall down there on Lyndale and Lake in Uptown, 'cause they've got a nice comfy spot with central heating — not that any of us would mind holding the event outdoors when it's 15 degrees or anything, but we figured it's kinda nice if you can take your jacket off and don't have to stomp yer feet and blow on yer hands, if you get my drift. (Maybe a snow drift even, yah?!)

So here's a sneak peak of some of the not-so-ordinary crafters who'll be there. Really. We're talkin' some pretty unique stuff. You just might find yourself saying, "Isn't that interesting?" more than a few times. Then you'll stumble on just the right thing for that sister-n-law who hates it when you buy her somethin' from Walmart. Yah! Yer no unsophisticated yokel, no sir! You'll show 'em.

So, we'll see ya there, then, eh? Oh, and did I mention that the VFW's bar will be open as per usual? You betcha!

Click right here to see these items up close and personal on Etsy.

Don't let me forget to tell you the specifics:

HandmadeMN Market

Saturday, Nov. 23, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Ballentine VFW, 2916 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis 

You are on Facebook, right? So just click here, then, for the event page.

We look forward to seein' ya. Oh, and there's no need to bring a hot dish. The VFW's got food, too. And it is in Uptown, ya know. There's a few restaurants around there. We hear they're pretty good.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Fun Friday Finds ~ Golden Abundance

By Mollie

November: Autumn days are quickly turning into chilly nights. It feels like 9:00 p.m. at 6:00 p.m.. What few leaves left on trees are planning their upcoming drop to the frost-covered grass (or maybe snow, depending on where you are in Minnesota.)

Many of you are beginning your preparation for the holidays and the whirlwind they create. But many of you are also celebrating your birthdays this month. A special day spent with family, friends or a beloved pet, remembering the events of your past year, and planning ahead for a year full of adventure and more memory-making.

This week's Fun Friday Finds is all about you and your birthstone, the citrine. This beautiful translucent gem in shades of Yellow, Golden Yellow, Yellow-Orange and even Yellow-Green is said to have energy of good fortune and luck.

In other lore, it is said to promote success, abundance and personal power to those who wear it. Emulating the sun, it shines of optimism and light and increased creativity. For many shop owners, it is even stored in the cash box of to promote success, which earned it the nickname "Merchant's Stone."

With all of it's wonderful hues and qualities, I say fill your lives with this magnificent gem! Let the items featured this week get you started...

HandmadeMN Fun Friday Finds ~ Golden Abundance
{Click on the image above to visit the Etsy Treasury and the shops featured.}

And for those of you with November birthdays, may you experience Golden Abundance throughout the upcoming year.

Happy Birthday from all of us at HandmadeMN!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Upcoming Shows Featuring Members of HandmadeMN

By Sharon Parker
Arty Didact

We've set our clocks back an hour;  the wind has blown the leaves off the trees and into our gutters; the occasional wild turkey is seen roaming the streets—and your favorite crafters have disappeared into their studios, crafting up a storm.

That can only mean one thing: Craft show season is underway!

Herewith, a list of local craft shows featuring HandmadeMN crafters. You'll want to bookmark this page, of course! New information will be added as we learn it, so check back often.

We're looking forward to seeing you at any of these shows.

Happy shopping local and handmade!

Dec. 4–18
Mon.–Wed., 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Thu.–Fri., 10 a.m.–9 p.m.; Sat., 9 a.m.–9 p.m.; Sun., 1–5 p.m. 
Bloomington Theatre and Art Center
1800 W Old Shakopee Rd., Bloomington 55431

Flower photography calendars, prints, cards, tote bags, lavender sachets

Craftsman Nouveau cards, prints & fabric

Holiday No Coast Craft-o-rama

Friday, Dec. 6, 3–8 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 7, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Midtown Global Market

Lamps and lamp shades

Craftsman Nouveau cards, prints & fabric

handmade bags with bite

Roseville Holiday Craft Fair

Saturday, Dec. 7, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 8, noon–4 p.m.
Roseville City Hall, Roseville 55113

Wallets, TuneTubes, Shopsacks, keychains, etc.

Seward Winter Frolic: Art in the Hood 2013

Dec. 7, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Dec. 8, noon–4 p.m. 
Seward neighborhood, South Minneapolis
Brenda L. Peterson, Mellow Fury 
Hand knit hats including geek hats, monster hats and slouch hats.
Michael L. Treat, Smirking Tiger
Mixed metal cuffs, earrings, drawings, paintings, large and small, and maybe even a zine or two.

4th Annual Holiday Sale

Dec. 7, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
7135  47th Street Court North, Oakdale  55128
totes, buckets, scarves, zipper pouches
jewelry, stamped charms

Lynnhurst Neighborhood Holiday Boutique

Dec. 7, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Lynnhurst Recreation Center, 1345 W. Minnehaha Pkwy., Minneapolis  55419

Handcrafted jewelry

Minnesota Women's Art Festival

Saturday, Dec. 14, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Minneapolis Midtown YWCA
2121 E. Lake St., Minneapolis 55407

Lamps and lamp shades

Party Girl Artwork
Hand-painted ceramics

Handmade tote bags, makeup bags, and electronic cases

Hand-bound journals from recycled materials,  calendars, book plates, quirky toy sets and games

Craftsman Nouveau cards, prints & fabric

Circus Juventas Holiday Bazaar

Dec. 14, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Under the big top at Circus Juventas, 1270 Montreal Avenue‚ • St Paul, MN 55116

Brenda L. Peterson, Mellow Fury 
Hand knit hats including geek hats, monster hats and slouch hats.

Michael L. Treat, Smirking Tiger
Mixed metal cuffs, earrings, drawings, paintings, large and small, and maybe even a zine or two.

Lyndale Gardens Winter Market & Solstice Festival of Lights

Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013; 4–7 p.m.
Lyndale Gardens, 6400 Lyndale Ave So., Richfield, Minnesota 55423

Brenda L. Peterson, Mellow Fury 
Hand knit hats including geek hats, monster hats and slouch hats.

Michael L. Treat, Smirking Tiger
Mixed metal cuffs, earrings, drawings, paintings, large and small, and maybe even a zine or two.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Fun Friday Finds: Nokomis Urban Craft Fair Saturday!

By Sharon Parker

Hey! It's November! And after October left us with several gray drizzly days in a row, it looks like Saturday promises to bring some glimpses of sunshine. A perfect day to visit the park! Okay, maybe it's a little chilly for hanging around the playground, but, wouldn't you know, it's hot and happenin' indoors at Nokomis Park this Saturday, November 2, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., when these fine artists and others will be setting up shop for the Nokomis Urban Craft Fair.

Fun, huh? You bet it will be. And there will be coffee, and sloppy joes at lunch time.

Thirty-one local crafters will be gathered at the park on Saturday, including members of the HandmadeMN Etsy street team and other Etsians showcased here.

You can preview these shops after clicking on the image below to visit the treasury on Etsy, but the best way to see these fine handmade goods is live and in person. Right?

So meet us at the park! We'll be there with bells on! (Actually, I can't guarantee anything about the bells -- but, you know, in a figurative sense, anyway.)