Highlights from the HandmadeMN Fall Market

Craft show season is upon us!  The HandmadeMN Market is one of my favorite local craft shows.  It is organized by the artisans in the Etsy Team for Minnesota artists. There is always a great variety of items from jewelry to kids’ stuff to wearables and home decor.  I have two new Etsy shops that I discovered this year and wanted to share.

Kibbles ‘N Knits has all sorts of interesting jewelry made out of “unexpected materials.”  If you check out the artist’s blog, she has a great tutorial for making fabric necklaces, but for those of you who are non-crafty (like me!) there are lots of cute items in the shop already made. :)


Mini Journal EarringsI love the mini journal earrings from Wayfaring Art.  Frankly, I love journals of all sorts, and the hand-bound leather journals in this shop are beautiful.  Making them tiny and turning them into earrings? I’m in love.

Highlights from last year’s HandmadeMN Market are here.  You can follow HandmadeMN on Twitter or Facebook to get updates about future events.

For the Creative Family

Since I am the lucky librarian who gets to take care of both Parenting Books and Craft Books in my office, Hand in Hand: Crafting with Kids landed on my desk.

I’ve already admitted that I’m not a Craft Person, but somehow I can never resist craft books–especially one with such beautiful photos, simple crafts, and moms writing about the creative life.  Not to mention, the book features some of my favorite mom bloggers–including Soulemama (I blogged about her book here) and The Artful Parent (I guest posted on her blog here).  I was particularly pleased to see picture books in so many of the photographs.  I spied Dr. Seuss, Oliver Jeffers, Ed Emberley, and more.


As non-crafty as I am, I just may try MayaMade‘s project: The Little Book of Big Questions.  What could be better than a handmade book to hold all the things your child wonders throughout the day that you can’t answer off the top of your head?  Write the questions down to revisit later.  Perhaps at the library, if I may say so. :)


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School Tools & Project Spaces

January’s Ready for Kindergarten post had me browsing Pinterest for reading spaces.  February was Using School Tools, so we tried to create a project space for crafts and writing, which, again, involved browsing Pinterest. :)

Here are some uber-organized kid-friendly craft/proect spaces:

Source: google.com via Mindy on Pinterest


This is our space for now. Not terribly organized, but we’re working on it. :)

What does your project space look like?

Are you on Pinterest? Let’s connect!

Want to read more about spaces for kids? Read this guest post about Creating a Play Space for Preschoolers.

Friday Finds: National Craft Month, The Universe, & My Weekend Picks

I’ll start off with another confession, though two Fridays in a row is a bit much, I know, but bear with me. Here goes: I’m not crafty.  This might not seem like a big deal except I was raised crafty.  My mom crochets beautiful afghans, and my dad does all sorts of woodworking things.  They spent a few years on the regional craft show circuit, and I’ve tried to get my mom to open an Etsy shop many times. With that kind of heritage behind me, I should be crafty, right? I, however, have about the same crafticity level as my 4 year-old. It’s too bad.  Ladybug loves stories like Shoe-la-la and Crafty Chloe.  I wouldn’t be surprised if crafticity skips a generation.  

I’m fairly content being a craft-appreciator for the most part, and it’s National Craft Month, so I thought I’d share a couple of my favorite Etsy shops for your browsing pleasure.

  • Bookshelves of Doom isn’t just a kidlit blog, it’s also an Etsy shop filled with book related crafty items.  Right now she has pendants and brooches made with vintage literary stamps.

  • Water Nymph has all sorts of lovely jewelry, including this lovely ring my honey gave me for Annibirthmas:

Unrelated to crafts entirely, this video is too good not to share.  (via Intelligent Life)

Twin Cities Weekend Picks:

Thank you, hands

My little artist made her hand-shaped turkey last weekend.  I tried to emphasize a feeling of gratitude this Thanksgiving with the book All of Me: A Book of Thanks by Molly Bang.  It says,

“What great hands!

Thank you, hands.

for gripping

and throwing

and patting and holding.

And for hugging.”


Also, thanks for being turkey-shaped. :)

Happy Shop Small Saturday!

It’s no secret that I love my city, so for Shop Small Saturday, I’m featuring some local businesses with items that show hometown pride.  They just might make the perfect gift for the Twin Citian in your life! :)

I love this vintage locket with a Minneapolis map from Left Hand Originals.  She will also do custom map necklaces from anywhere in the world!  Perhaps a great gift for the world travelers or those who dream of it.

First Avenue is a well-known landmark in Minneapolis music history.  Many bands that play there, including M83 recently, comment on what an honor it is to play there when they visit Minneapolis.  I love all of Red Shoes 26 Design‘s local landmark prints.

Start young with MN pride with a MN onesie from Dianapantz!

You might also want to check out the local artisans I found recently at the HandmadeMN Market or at the Red Hot Art Fest this past summer, and I highly recommend this local blogger’s series on local businesses of all sorts to support for Small Business Saturday–or anytime!

Happy shopping!

Friday Finds: Loose Ends, Mustaches, & Creativity

Local Love:

Thoughts on Creativity:
“The creative process, and the creative life, is mostly full of moments between the idea and the being done, the spark and the blazing fire, the shimmering magic and the finished piece. We’re always living in the gap between our vision of what could be and what might be, and what is.”
  • This video looks at what deadlines can do to creativity.  You can’t rush art.
And it’s all about me:
For more interesting stuff, find me on Facebook,  Twitter, and Google+.

HandmadeMN Market: Some highlights

Ladybug and I stopped in at the HandmadeMN Market this past Saturday, and we found so many lovely things.  Here is a shot of what we bought:

The hair clip for Ladybug is from Tauna Lane Design.  If you like cute & girly for kids, this is the shop for you.  In addition to the hair clips, she also has Lollidoll cake toppers and frilly aprons that little girls will love.  At the market, she had vintage children’s books re-bound into blank books.  I think they would make great journals for kids.

The brooch in the photo above came from KellyBot.  Her shop contains all sorts of cool creations from vintage buttons.  We also bought a bar of handmade soap from Bath n Beads, etc.

I love upcycled crafts.  These altered wall plates from Unique Art Pendants are very cool.  The shop also has art prints made from vintage dictionary pages, which I love.  While you’re checking out her shop, don’t miss the jewelry.  I love the cuff bracelets.

The photo pieces from Allison Marie Designs remind me of picture books like Minnesota’s Hidden Alphabet.  She will personalize the pieces with a child’s name too, which would be a great gift along with the book.

Speaking of kid stuff, Ladybug loved the crayons from Earth Grown Crayons.  Not to mention, it was nice to have a kid-friendly place where she could try  something out.

The Farmers Market Crayon Box Set would make a great gift with To Market, to Market by Nikki McClure or Rah, Rah Radishes by April Pulley Sayre.

These tiny prints of local icons are from Red Shoes 26 Design.   I’m a sucker for all things local, so these are perfect for me.  I also love this typewriter card: You’re my type.

These are just a few of my favorites.  See more local artisans from the market here.

This one is for you DIY Mamas

Shoe-La-La by Karen Beaumont

From the cover, you might peg Shoe-La-La as another annoying girly-girl picture book.  I can’t deny its girliness, but I believe it rises to the top of the pile of girly picture books with the DIY attitude it promotes.  The girls shop and shop for the perfect pair of shoes, but they can’t find what they are looking for.  Their solution?  Just decorate their old shoes into the perfect party shoes.


Crafty moms should love this book.