Monday, August 29, 2016

Binge on HandmadeMN!

Admit it.

While your Facebook posts and Instagram feeds are filled with photos of all the hip places you’ve been this month, we know where you really want to be.

In front of the television.  Binge-watching.

It’s okay.  We all do it.  The popularity of TV shows like Stranger Things, The Walking Dead and Orange is the New Black— with entire seasons of episodes created to be consumed in just a few days— means you’re going to be laying on the couch for an entire weekend.  You better be prepared, and comfortable.

First, let’s talk food and drink.  Fill your North Tote (by lyriccol) with your favorite snacks, and keep it within arm’s reach.  A Hello Gorgeous Mason Jar Tumbler from thegoldengurl will be perfect for your favorite cold beverage, while also preventing spills. 
Shop for snacks, and keep them handy, with this sturdy tote

Beverages are a must for any binge-watching session
Next, let’s get comfy.  Light a palm wax pillar candle by AuntieBsWax for ambience, and fill the room with the wonderful scent of cappuccino hazelnut.  
Ambience is everything:  add flickering light and a wonderful scent to your home
Fluff your homey feather-filled pillow by TheCaitieCollection, and prepare to get cozy under this colorful and sophisticated quilt from HartfordAvenueQuilts
Luxuriate in feather-filled comfort all weekend long
For beauty and comfort, you can't beat a hand-crafted quilt

Just as important, if go the Stranger Things route, you may feel a need for protection from any unseen forces of doom.  This chakra healing bracelet from AnandaEnergy will keep your energies aligned, and may even keep you awake for the whole series.
Protect your energies from TV monsters, and look great doing it
With all these stylish items from HandmadeMN makers, who says the glamorous life can’t be had inside your own home?  You may even be inspired to post a selfie or two during your binge-watching session. 

Now, who can find the remote?

Etsy Featured Shop: Crafterall

by Cindy Lindgren

HandmadeMN member, Marnie Karger, was featured on Etsy's international blog recently and we couldn't be more proud! You may have seen her at local art shows with her intricate topographical lake map art. Here is their interview of her and her shop, Crafterall.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

HandmadeMN Makers: Meet Us at the Fair!

By Sharon Parker
Sharon's Compendium

State Fair photo magnets from Painted Fish Studio
Are you a Mn State Fair fan? If you're like the crafty and craft-loving folks of the HandmadeMN team, you probably spend more time admiring the crafts and art exhibits than you do in the Midway — although, I must admit, there's loads of artistry to be enjoyed in the Midway as well. In fact, the whole fair experience is a sensory feast for the artist in all of us.

You'll likely find the presence of HandmadeMN artists and makers throughout the fair, possibly even standing next to you when you least suspect it. I know I'll be spending some time in the poultry barn to sketch and photograph the chickens when I visit.

Displays and Competitions

In the Ag-Hort building, check out the exhibit Ways to Help Honey Bees and Other Pollinators by Myla Meyer, whose shop, Sweet Bee Honey, offers honey and beeswax goodies from her own hives. Also look for her beeswax candle in the Bee and Honey exhibit area.
Garden Leaves pillar  beeswax candle by Myla Meyer

Also in the Ag-Hort building, look for granola and granola bars created by Nicole Aufderhar, who may be better known for her hand-bound leather journals that she sells at several art fairs throughout the summer and also in her Etsy shop, Wayfaring Art.

One of Nicole's leather journals — because she was too busy baking for the fair to send me a photo of her cookies.
But that's not all. In the Creative Activities building, Nicole has entered six types of cookies, including one in the "decorated cookie on a stick category," she says, adding that that one is "definitely more arts and crafts than baking."  When I asked if baking was a regular hobby of hers, she said, "It's really more of an obsession than a hobby! This is only my third year entering things, and while you never know how you'll do, I've won ribbons each year, so I'm hopeful!"

I neglected to ask whether she serves any of her award-winning cookies at the art fairs she participates in.

Greg Just, whose Etsy shop Just Turned, showcases his woodturning creations,  has entered three items in the Handcrafts/Wood category in the Creative Activities building: two bowls and a birdhouse. The birdhouse got a first place ribbon, and a segmented bowl, pictured below, got fourth.

Segmented wood bowl by Greg Just, which won a 4th-place ribbon at the fair
In Weaving/First Time Weaving Entry/Original Design, Mary Ellen Kutz entered a Saori-style handwoven shawl made from alpaca and wool yarn, sari silk ribbon "and various art yarns." Her Etsy shop is Mimi's Fun Stuff.

State Fair shawl by Mary Ellen Kutz

The West End Market

Heading on over to the West End Market, you'll find many independent small business shops with booths at the fair featuring handmade goodness, too. Including some items from HandmadeMN makers.

Christine Burnes will have some fun pin-back buttons  and magnets for sale at the I Like You booth, which you can take a peek at in her online shop, BenTine Buttons. She also makes hand-spun yarn, jewelry and paintings, all available from her Etsy shop, Kaleidoscope Kitty.

Buttons by Christine Burnes, sold in the I Like You booth

Brenda Irwin, whose Etsy shop is called Light Reading,  will have some of her Minnesota-themed lampshades for sale at the Piccadilly Prairie booth, also in the West End Market.

Lamp shades by Brenda Irwin, available at Piccadilly Prairie
And in Another Recent Fair . . .

In case you missed it, in July, the Ramsey County Fair featured some blue-ribbon entries from Karrie Norenberg Blees, Etsy shop Sewing for the Harvest. 

Her blue-ribbon winners were a brooch made of zippers (fabric clothing accessory category), an upcycled dress, a leather handbag made from discarded coats, and an 1895 lingerie set of corset, chemise and drawers —which also won the grand champion ribbon for the clothing division.

1895 lingerie set that won at the Ramsey County Fair, by Karrie Norenberg Blees


Monday, August 8, 2016

Meet Etsy Supply Shops

Etsy shops sell more than finished handmade products like jewelry, clothes and pottery. There are a whole category of shops who supply the materials to make those products. They include needlecraft supplies, fabric, candle making & glass supplies,tools, beads and woodworking supplies as well as patterns, displays and kits.

HandmadeMN has several members who carry supplies in their Etsy shops.Here are a few:
The Relic Charm has a new component line in the works.

Rhodocrosite 13mm Coin Beads 60% off, qty 16
Rhodocrosite Coin Beads at XO Supplies
The Vintage Bead Shop has a variety of jewelry making supplies
Kaleidoscope Kitty spins yarn from a variety of fibers
 Chalkboard Punch Set for personalizing jewelry and crafts carried by Evies Tool Emporium

Hand Carved Rubber Stamp by TC Witchcraft Factory

Mini Mushrooms carries fabric and patterns in her shop


Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Last Etsy Treasury HandmadeMN First Thursday of the Month Post

'Trailing Robot Dream' by westernartglass

Bumblebee note card. Bee not...

Rustic Buck head Lodge Pillo...

UFO Alien Cat Spacecat Space...

Summit Brewing Co. Pilsener ...

Beaded Bookmark - Book Thong...

Wolf - original acrylic pain...

Vintage 1800's Derby Hat...

Basquiat sculpture pop art N...

Arts and Crafts Style Thistl...

Cloud Necklace #makeforgood

Flying Black Bats Wall Decal...

Earth Bot Ceramic Bisqueware...
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Nicholas Mrozinski - Across the Universe 

(Minnesota Beatle Project Vol. 1)

The intoxicated bumblebee flew into the reclining man’s nostril.  The reclining man’s nostril twitched.  The aforementioned bumblebee came tumbling from the no longer reclining man’s nostril like an Olympic gymnastic floor exercise.  An alien cat took notice of the goings on, and reported the disturbance through the proper channels…crop circles, eh? while a promenade of farmers quaffed Summit Pilsener beer (with the barley all the way from North Dakota…where Larry Woiwode presides as the poet laureate)…now where was I?  Oh…a wolf flashed the peace sign to a pinkish purplish parked car on Lake Street, while a girl in derby hat did a soft shoe while tiptoeing to the Dairy Queen by the river.  Robot picked up the wolf’s trail from  a discarded bone and trampled thistles while clouds floated overhead like giant cat paws.
“Hold on,” Robot said out loud in a robot voice, “Those aren’t clouds…those are flying vampire bats!”

The only thing I’d add to that? I worked with a man named Richard Betts in the late 70s that regaled me with tales from his youth, living on a farm in southern Minnesota by the South Dakota border.  One such tale involved teaching his Weimaraner dog to ride his mule.  He had a paper clipping from the Minneapolis paper with the story.  That is all for now.  The End

Monday, August 1, 2016

Minnesota Handmade Dorm Decor and Practical Goods for your College Student

By Sharon Parker
Sharon's Compendium

In August of 2010, we loaded our car with our daughter and her essential possessions and drove 10 hours to Albion College in Michigan for her final two years of schooling. 

Our daughter and her roommate had not met before we arrived, but they had communicated online to figure out who would bring what of those essential things you only need one of — a microwave, TV, etc. They had figured out what they could share to keep their small space from getting too cramped.

What a good idea, right? And if at least some of the stuff students bring with them to college is handmade from their home state ... well, it's never too soon to subtly remind them of where they came from (and where you hope they'll return, at least for a visit once in a while). So consider some of these fun and practical handmade-in-Minnesota items to help set your college student up in their home away from home. 

To help new roommates get comfy and acquainted, how how about this set of four throw pillows featuring some little-known American presidents?  From Authentic Embroidery.

Light Reading has  several lamp shades made from old slides featuring scenes from places around the world where your student may hope to travel someday, such as this one with slides from Petra, Jordan, and Morocco.

To corral the clutter (and keep small things from getting lost), how about a fabric catchall from Shaggy Baggy . . .

Also helpful for keeping things tidy — cord keepers made from upcycled bike tubes by Bird Industries 

Keep your room free of cup rings (and get that damage deposit back) with comics-inspired fabric coasters from Daydreamers' Emporium.

This cute small denim bag for a cell phone and small essentials beats digging around in a backpack full of books and papers. From Mimi's Fun Stuff.

Students can show their school colors with a versatile tee-shirt infinity scarf like this one, or check out other colors available from Palette Passion.

And after you're back home, why not send a note in the mail to let your student know you're thinking about them — on a notecard suitable for displaying on a shelf or wall as artwork, such as this one featuring a soothing nature image from Epiphanies Afield . . .

To find more handmade goodness from Minnesota,  click on any of the topics at left, or try a search on Etsy for HandmadeMN and the specific type of item you're looking for, such as . . . 

and more notecards from Minnesota makers to send to your student (because snail mail from home is kind of retro and fun!).