Archive for the ‘Artists and Shops’ Category

You might know by now that Auntie B’s Wax products can be found in a shop or two around town.  It’s so cool to be included in shops that contain the works of some of the best artisans around.

This month the White Bear Lake Magazine did an article featuring The Farmer’s Daughter.  This shop is the best, the owners are geniuses at how to run a business and treat their artisans and patrons with love and respect.  I’m proud to be a part of this great shop in White Bear Lake.

Carrie and Lynn, owners of The Farmer’s Daughter in White Bear Lake, MN. Photo credit: Tate Carlson

Auntie B’s Wax has a bunch of stuff for sale in this shop, and even more thrilling terrifying is that Carrie and Lynn asked me to be one of the artisans interviewed for the magazine article.  The interviewer was great, the fact-checker was kind of scary (did I really say those things?!) and the final printing made me look kind of, well, artistic.  I’m sheepish and humble about the whole thing, but deep, deep inside I’m pretty proud.

If you’re ever in White Bear Lake, check out The Farmer’s Daughter.  They have a shop full of really fun gifts, and even more importantly things you’ll need in your own life.  The shop itself is welcoming, the owners and staff are friendly and helpful, and the items for sale, well, they’re just wonderful…if I may say so myself.

See the article here.


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It is a silent night for me tonight. The day was spent by attending my great Aunt Margie’s funeral. She was buried on the same date as her brother, my grandpa, who died a few years ago. Seems people in that family like to spend Christmas together. According to someone in the family Aunt Margie said she was ready to go onto the next realm. I hope she’s happy, dancing with her husband and spending the season with the many members of her family who entered that realm before her.

A Distant Memory by The Crooked Camera

When I returned home from the funeral I spend a half hour gathering my thoughts and went on to make preparations for the annual Christmas Cheer party I have for my family. I did some cooking and baking and preparation for the most festive entertainment event I have every year. I’m preparing new recipes and also some tried and true ones, the libations are stocked, and the old victrola is ready to play some of the old 78s that were listened to by generations before me. Christmas is a time of nostalgia, a time to remember Christmases past and to romanticize Christmases before our time.

The house still smells of the buns I baked this evening and I wish they were the buns my grandma used to make. Mine were made from store-bought frozen dough, thawed and baked. Delicious, but not the same as those made from scratch by Grandma Mabel. Some day I’ll make them as well as she did; I have the old recipe complete with instructions out of her head rather than precise measurements and sure-fire techniques. Oh, to have the time to perfect her wonderful buns.

I find myself remembering Christmases of my past on this silent night. Christmas Eve on Jackson Street with the great aunts and uncles on my dad’s side. Christmas mornings at Tug Lake with a roaring fire and presents galore. Grandpa Mike looking out his picture window, telling his grandchildren Santa’s sleigh had been sighted by the weather men at the local TV news station. Grandma Harriet with her glorious Christmas Day meal. Yes, Christmas is all about nostalgia for me. And every year I build upon the nostalgia of future years.

Via Google Images

Great Aunt Margie had a lot of Christmases under her belt. Ninety-five of them. Sharp as a tack until the day she died I wonder what she would think about at Christmas time. Did she reminisce about Christmases she spent as a child on her parents’ farm? Did she miss the years gone by, or did she embrace the holidays as they came?

On this silent night I think about the generations past and the generations to come. I also think about right now. That in a few hours my family will gather at my house for food, drink, and merriment. As we celebrate the season and ourselves we’ll also be creating memories. These are the memories I want when I’m ninety-six years old like my Great Aunt Margie.

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The plan was to continue the Dive Night post to Part 2 today, but that will have to wait until next week.  (Sorry Charlotte.)  Today I have to tell you about my excursion.

It’s cold outside.  Like, winter cold.  We have temperatures in the low 30s and rain/snow/ice pellets flying around everywhere.  That didn’t stop me and my mom.  We got a taste of spring at the Chickadee Boutique where the wood stove was toasting up the stone cottage that houses the boutique.

The place was packed to the rafters, as usual, with handmade items from local artisans.  Mom and I found a few things we wanted to make our own, or to give as gifts to others.

After our adventure at the Chickadee we went across town to The Farmer’s Daughter.  I consign my products at this shop, so while I was doing my business my Mom wandered about the shop to see what they had to offer.  Lots of stuff, of course!

It felt like warm springtime in these shops, and it was a plus that we didn’t come home empty-handed.  Even if we did it would have been a good day because even a false sense of spring is better than nothing.  Plus it’s a good thing to hang out with Mom once in a while.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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The snow keeps coming here in Minnesota, but because it’s March it’s kind of melty.  With melty snow comes icicles.  I know, icicles aren’t desireable to a lot of home owners, but I think they’re one of the prettiest occurances nature gives.

Red Cranberries in Winter Ice on Etsy by WhitesideHollow

Icicles 8 X 10 Photograph on Etsy by pixelstarphotography

Icicle Sunset on Etsy by MillinPhotography

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March is by far my least favorite month of the year.  I get a little depressed, a little bored and a little impatient with it all.  The snow is dirty, the air is damp.  It’s cold, it warms up, it’s cold again.  March can’t make up it’s mind and it bugs me.

We got some fresh snow.  About eight inches.  It cleans up that dirty stuff a bit which is good, but it’s March.  Aren’t the daffodils supposed to be popping out by now?

There’s a nice little treasury in Etsy that makes me feel a little better about this time of year.  The curator names it Blackberry Winter.  The purple colors remind me of winter and spring all at once.  They make March less annoying.  I’m honored to have my Blackberry Sage candle featured in the collection.

If you’re interested in any of the items in this treasury, just click on the image and you’ll be transported to Etsy where you can have a closer look.

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It looks like summer has finally arrived in Minnesota.  After months of gray, overcast days the lush green grass and foliage and vibrant flower blossoms are a welcome sight.

There’s an Etsy shop where you can get the freshness of summer blooms all year long.  MaryFosterCreative is filled with fine art flower and foliage photographs by Mary Foster.  Not only does she photograph nature’s beautiful works of art, she grows the blooms herself!

The shop features flower and foliage prints as well as note card collections.  Cards can be purchased individually or in sets.  Imagine how thrilled someone would be to receive a lovely hand-written note on one of these gorgeous cards.

Mary has another talent ~ crochet!  She makes adorable crocheted accessories inspired by her flower photography and offers these in her shop too.

Come visit MaryFosterCreative for a healthy dose of summer blooms and incredible talent.

This article will soon be published on the HandmadeMN blog, a blog I’m sure you will enjoy. Not only do they publish my Featured Shop articles, there are lots of giveaways and interesting articles presented by many Minnesota artisans like me.

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It’s always a treat for me to peruse Etsy for the artists and crafters that make up the HandmadeMN Etsy Team.  We have a lot of members and I’m often surprised when I come across a shop I’ve not seen before.  Sparkflight is one of those shops.

Sparkflight is filled with magical, amazing  wire work.  Twisted and formed by hand, straight pieces of wire are transformed into astonishing pieces of art.

Black Stone & Bright Copper Netted Pendant Necklace

These pieces of art are often wearable in the form of necklaces, bracelets, and earrings, but art for display is also available in the shop. Look at this cute little oriole. Incredible work!

Oriole Wire Bird Sculpture

The types of wires used range from stainless steel to copper and everything in between. Most times (if not all the time) the copper wire is recycled. Yay for recycling!

Romantic Copper Vine Necklace

If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind swirly, twisty, breath-taking piece of wire art, take a look into Sparkflight. You’ll not be disappointed.

This article will soon be published on the HandmadeMN blog, a blog I’m sure you will enjoy. Not only do they publish my Featured Shop articles, there are lots of giveaways and interesting articles presented by many Minnesota artisans like me.

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