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.