Thursday, November 30, 2017

Holiday Shows for December 1-3rd

by Cindy Lindgren
and Sharon Parker

The show season is in full gear. There are more exciting Holiday shows are happening this weekend around Minnesota you need to check out for local handmade gifts. Click on the links for more specific information and list of exhibitors. Happy shopping!


Friday, December 1st, 3pm-8:00 pm
Saturday, December 2, 9am-5pm
Midtown Global Exchange Building

Saturday, December 2nd, 11am-5pm
Food Building
1401 Marshall St NE

Friday, December 1st, 1pm-9:00pm
Saturday, December 2nd, 10am-4pm
4401 York Ave S. 

Saturday, December 2nd, 10am-5pm
Sunday, December 3rd, 12:00-5pm
Seward neighborhood celebrates local arts 
and businesses, including live events

Sunday, December 3rd, 2pm-7pm
Tattersall Distilling
1620 Central Ave NE, #150

Saturday, December 2nd, 12pm-5pm
American Craft Council
1224 Marshall St. NE, Ste 200

St. Paul

Lowertown neighborhood
Friday, December 1st, 5pm-10pm
Saturday, December 2nd, 10am-5pm

Brooklyn Park

Saturday,December 2nd, 9am-5pm
Sunday, December 3rd, 8am-1pm
St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church
9100 93rd Ave. N

Monday, November 27, 2017

Gifts for Guys

By Jeff Ambroz

Cutting, sewing, painting and more.  The makers of the HandmadeMN team have been hard at work, using their skills to create a wide range of items suitable for seasonal gift giving.

Many of these items are perfect for the men on your list.  Of course, women will appreciate these items as well, so go ahead:  buy multiples!
With 2018 just around the corner, a calendar makes a thoughtful gift.  This clipboard calendar by typeincolor offers a new twist on the classic wall calendar, and will be appreciated for its inventiveness and practicality.  The photography and design is all completed by the artist, so this is a truly special gift.
2018 is almost here:  Time for a new calendar.
Cracked cell phone screens can be a thing of the past with this attractive, wool felt iPhone case by byrdandbelle.  Combining an elegant design with quality materials always results in a much-appreciated gift.  The recipient will be proud to show it off.
Keeping cell phones free from scratches and cracks can be done beautifully!
During the depths of winter, many Minnesotans dream of fishing on their favorite lakes.  Some of us even indulge our passion through ice fishing.  A Fisherman's Scrub Bar by AllThingsHerbal is a perfect item for those who like to find new ways to make their next big catch.
Anise oil will bring fish your way in 2018.
rain gauge made with Lake Superior rock by Naturallyuniquerock is a useful and fun gift for the weather watcher, and don’t all Midwesterners fit into this category?  Made from natural and weatherproof materials, this rain gauge will provide for years of observation and conversation about our favorite topic:  the weather.
This rain gauge definitely measures up in the categories of style and function.
Original artwork makes an ideal gift, because many of us consider it a luxury and hesitate to purchase it for ourselves.  This evocative acrylic painting by ReitenourPaintings lets the viewer get lost in a whole new world, centering the mind and spirit.  At just shy of $70, this one-of-a-kind work of art is within reach for many of us.
A painting makes an unexpected and wonderfully personal gift.
The gift-ready items presented to you here are just a few of the hundreds that are available through the makers of HandmadeMN.  Be sure to explore their Etsy shops for even more gift giving ideas, and you’re sure to find something just right for everyone on your list.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Holiday Art, Craft and Food Markets for Thanksgiving Weekend in Minneapolis and St. Paul

by Cindy Lindgren
and Sharon Parker

If you like the idea of starting your holiday shopping on Thanksgiving weekend, but not the prospect of mobs at the malls and big box stores, have we got the shopping guide for you!

First, the small indy shops' alternative to Black Friday is the much more appealing and colorful Plaid Friday, promoted by Buy Local Twin Cities. 

And what's more, many of these small independent shops sell works by local artists and fine  crafters, and you can browse a list of the ones that do so via the Local Shops link in the lefthand column of this blog (or by clicking right here). 

And, of course, there are fun pop-up markets and shows all around the Twin Cities. We've gathered a list of a few of them here. If your Minnesota town is holding a Christmas Market or other event with makers selling their own work, please share it in the comments so others can learn about markets close to them. 

Happy shopping! And don't forget to check back next Thursday for more holiday art, craft and food markets in our Minnesota communities.

A holiday market at Sociable Cider Werks


Last Minute Market
Wednesday, 4–9 p.m.
HeadFlyer Brewing
861 E. Hennepin, 55414
Prepared foods ready for gifting, and handmade goods from Minneapolis Craft Market makers

Plaid Friday  & Small Business Saturday Winter Markets
Friday & Saturday, noon–5
Sociable Cider Werks
1500 Filmore St. NE, 55413
Minneapolis Craft Market makers and food vendors from Frank & Ernest Markets will be outside on the patio, plus live music in the tap room, hot mulled cider and new cider releases 

Small Business Saturday at the Northrup King
Saturday, noon–5 p.m.
Northrup King Building
1500 Jackson St. NE, 55413
Open studios and sales with hundreds of artists throughout the building

Holiday Open House 
Friday & Saturday, 10 a.m.–10 p.m.
158 13th Ave. NE, 55413
Meet some of the artists featured in this artist-owned small business; enjoy refreshments and prize drawings.  

Linden Hills Holiday Market
Sundays, 9–2, through Dec. 17
Sunnyside Gardens
3723 E. 44th St. 55410
This weekly market in the greenhouse features handcrafted gifts, holiday decor, and a wide variety of foods. Cohosted by Minneapolis Craft Market and Linden Hills Farmers Market.


Saturday, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church
1669 Arcade St., 55106
An annual tradition featuring 75 crafter vendors and a "huge" bake sale, plus food to eat on the premises. Proceeds benefit the church's work in the neighborhood.

Friday & Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. | Sunday, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Schmidt Artist Lofts
900 West Seventh St., 55102
More than 40 artists and makers selling hand-crafted goods.

Saturday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
Interact Center for Visual & Performing Arts
1860 Minnehaha Ave. W., 55104
Original works from more than 50 artists at 20 percent off, and their first ever Semi-Annual Studio Garage Sale.

Looking for even more local indy business shopping hot spots and holiday markets? Check out this comprehensive City Pages listing.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Holiday Shows for November 17-19th

by Cindy Lindgren
and Sharon Parker

Here's your curated guide to local shows featuring handmade crafts and original art. Your opportunity to shop for unique local handcrafted items for the holidays and other gifting occasions, or to treat yourself. Enjoy!

All shows take place this weekend, Nov. 17-19th. Check back next Wednesday (the day before Thanksgiving) for more!


60 different artists each day
Saturday, November 18th, 10-4pm
Sunday, November 19th, 10-4pm
Grain Belt Bottling House

Saturday, November 18th, 10-5pm
Midtown Global Market

Sunday, November 19th, 9-2pm
Sunnyside Gardens

Holiday Exhibition Opening Reception
Refreshments, hands-on clay activities and demonstrations.
Sunday, November 19th, noon–4pm
Northern Clay Center
2424 Franklin Ave. E.


Friday,November 17th 6-9pm
Saturday, November 18th, 10-4pm
Minnesota Waldorf School


Saturday, November 18th,10-5pm
Sunday, November 19th, 11-4pm
Plymouth Creek Center

North Branch

Saturday, November 18th, 9-4pm
North Branch Area High School


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Handmade Gifts for Minnesota Hosts & Hostesses

By Sharon Parker
Sharon's Compendium

Glogg notecard by Cindy Lindgren
Holiday gatherings are coming up soon! Is it really Thanksgiving next week? Yikes, yes, it is!

I asked some of our HandmadeMN Minnesota makers for ideas for gifts to bring to gracious hosts, and for their thoughts on guest arrival times; notably, whether it's better to arrive early or late. Not surprisingly for a bunch of Minnesotans, there was a strong preference for on-time arrivals.

Considering this question for myself, I realized that it makes all the difference if it's a sit-down dinner or a more informal gathering with food offered buffet-style. When I hosted a Christmas gathering that included relatives whose drive was an hour or longer, I told everybody it was really an open house and they could show up any time. Who needs the added stress of expected on-time arrival? Especially when there are small children to get ready! And when some relatives arrive early, it's a nice opportunity to have a quiet chat before the gathering becomes boisterous.

How about you? Share your thoughts in the comments. And do you think there is a cultural or regional preference for guest arrival times?

Shino glazed, soda fired 7" vase from Diane Gamm
When it comes to gifts for hosts, I'd like to share a tip I gleaned from my mom, who was always a bit flustered if a guest brought cut flowers, because she was never completely ready and waiting when people arrived (is anybody?) and so she felt it somewhat of an imposition to have to stop what she was doing to look for a vase to put them in. 

I always remember that, and so if I am inspired to bring flowers to a host, I bring them in their own container, which could be a mason jar fancied up with ribbons around the rim, or a lovely handmade ceramic vase that's a fine gift in itself, like this one (above) by Diane Gamm for an affordable $28.

Here are some more gift suggestions for hosts, and thoughts on arrival times.

Jodi Fiedler's Etsy shop, Palette Passion, features hand-dyed and hand-painted textiles, from silk scarves to ever-so-practical kitchen towels. She says, "I will probably host a small Thanksgiving meal and I love when people show up on time. Not too early or I'm probably scrambling around, and not too late as the food gets overdone."

I (Sharon) know that my kitchen towels are all a little grungy looking and kind of embarrassing to have out when company comes, so I'd sure appreciate a set of these hand-dyed flour sack tea towels, which come as a set of 2 for $16. The splotchy color pattern might just help to hide the inevitable stains, as well!

Hand dyed tea towels from Palette Passion 

Margie Hilla's Etsy shop is Warm Hugs Corn Bags. She says, "I would rather have guests arrive a little early...since it's mostly family, they can pitch in and help get everything on the table."

What host doesn't want to put their feet up and soothe their sweaty brow after hours in the kitchen? This gift set of two corn bags for $15 lets you keep one handy in the freezer and another near the microwave to use heated, whichever the situation calls for.  

Corn bags gift set from Warm Hugs Corn Bags
Mary Ellen Kutz offers a variety of handwoven goods at Mimi's Fun Stuff.  She says, "I like when guests arrive right on time." She added that she has given handwoven kitchen towels as hostess gifts.

Mary Ellen doesn't have kitchen towels in her shop at the moment (pssst, ahem! Mary Ellen!), but I couldn't help but think what a swell gift this sturdy tote would make, especially for the host who likes to unwind at their favorite coffee shop the day after the party, with their knitting or just some favorite reading material. No ordinary tote bag, this is not only handwoven, but also features sturdy cotton twill straps and a magnetic closure, all for just $30. And at 13 x 14 inches, it would even hold my MacBook Air. hmmmmm

Handwoven tote with magnetic closure from Mimi's Fun Stuff
Susie Crouse,  jewelry maker at Metaling Susie, says, "I generally go to my in-law family's house for Thanksgiving so I like to give something as a thank you. I have given a Childhood Cancer Awareness handmade bracelet (family niece in remission!) and a personalized bottle opener. 

You could order this simple, elegant personalized bracelet/cuff for a special relative who has been hosting for years and it has never occurred to you to show up early to help out let alone to bring a gift, has it? $65 and worth every penny, don't you know it. (Allow a couple of weeks for this made-to-order item.)

Personalized cuff from Metaling Susie
Brian Western of Western Art Glass says, "Cherry Apple Cider from Urban Forage on Lake Street...brought to Thanksgiving festivities by...myself. And how about everyone on time for a change?"

Mr. Western was too modest to suggest a gift from his little shop of art glass wonders, so may I suggest this dainty 2" glass 6-pointed star ornament or sun catcher? $28 for the smallest one, also available in other sizes (2-1/2" or 3-1/2") for a little bit more.

Star ornaments or sun catchers from Western Art Glass

Here are some more ideas for host gifts, from Minnesota makers on Etsy.

How about wine glass charms? Even if your host has a set, they can probably use more of them. Of course, they can be used on the handles of coffee mugs and teacups, too. 

Natural gemstone wine glass charms, set of 4 for $25,  from Gemstone Talisman

Or these with with handmade paper beads, set of 4 for $10 from Deeder the Beader
As long as you're bringing the wine (you are, right?), consider a handcrafted wood and cork coaster to set that bottle of red wine in and protect the fancy holiday table covering. Now that's a gift a host will surely appreciate!

Wine bottle coaster from Woodchuck's Wood, $10
Whether you are hosting or guesting (that's not really a word, is it?), my best wishes to you for low-stress, fun and convivial holiday gatherings throughout the season!

And don't forget to pick up some lovely Minnesota-made notecards for writing thank you notes to all those fine hosts!

You can also check back in at this blog every Thursday for a list of local craft shows on the weekend. Because we all know that it's not always easy to plan ahead for mailing time.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Holiday Art and Craft Shows Happening this Weekend, November 10–12

by Cindy Lindgren
and Sharon Parker

Here's your curated guide to local shows featuring handmade crafts and original art. Your opportunity to shop for unique local handcrafted items for the holidays and other gifting occasions, or to treat yourself. Enjoy!

All shows take place this weekend, Nov. 10–12. Check back next Thursday for more!

Weavers Guild of Minnesota Fiber Fair


Studio 332, Northrup King Building
1500 Jackson St. NE
Minneapolis 55413
Friday, 10–7
Saturday, 10–5
Sunday, noon–4
Scarves, shawls, purses, rugs, handspun yarn, and other fiber items made by members of the Weavers Guild of Minnesota

Nokomis Community Center
2401 E. Minnehaha Parkway
Minneapolis 55417
Saturday, 9:30–4
Clothing and accessories, jewelry, wood and ceramic items, letterpress and hand-printed cards, and more. Proceeds benefit park programs.

Linden Hills Holiday Market
Sunnyside Gardens
3723 W. 44th St.
Minneapolis 55410
Sundays, 9–2, through Dec. 17
This weekly market in the greenhouse features handcrafted gifts, holiday decor, and a wide variety of foods. Cohosted by Minneapolis Craft Market and Linden Hills Farmers Market.

St. Paul

Dow Artists Building
2242 University Ave. W.
St. Paul 55114
Friday, 5–10
Saturday, noon–8
Open studios and galleries throughout the building.

Mn Christmas Market
Lake Monster Brewing
550 Vandalia St.
St. Paul 55114
Saturday, 1–7
Local makers, local handcrafted goods; vendors donate 7 percent of sales to three selected children's charities. Food trucks on hand.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Holiday Artisan Show Count Down: November 3-5, 2017

by Cindy Lindgren
and Sharon Parker

Each Thursday, we are going to list Minnesota Holiday Shows that include great handmade artisan wares. Here is your shopping preview for shows happening this weekend around Minnesota:

Twin Cities area:

Annual Arts & Crafts Show
Champlin Park High School
109th Ave. & Douglas Drive
Saturday, November 4th

Richardson Nature Center
Saturday, November 4th
10 am-3pm

Northrup King Bldg
Friday, November 3rd, 5-10pm
Saturday, November 4th, Noon-8pm
Sunday, November 5th, Noon-5pm

The Historic California Building
Friday, November 3rd, 5-10pm
Saturday, November 4th, Noon-8pm
Sunday, November 5th, Noon-5pm

The Casket Arts Building
681 17th Ave. NE
Friday, November 3rd, 5-10pm
Saturday, November 4th, Noon-8pm
Sunday, November 5th, Noon-5pm

2653 Stinson Blvd
Saturday, November 4th, 10-
Sunday, November 5th, 10-

Jewelry & Accessory Makers Mart
Walker Art Center
Saturday, November 4th, 11am-5pm