A Few Cool Things

Saturday I helped out My Friend London at Craftstravaganza in St. Paul at the MN State Fairgrounds. I biked there and home in a chilly wind, but it was worth it for the pain relief!

Sunday I spent Mother’s Day with my darling daughter and two great friends at Shepherd’s Harvest in Lake Elmo, MN, doing a book signing and making some fun purchases.

I also got to be part of the Homespun Journey Podcast, which was great fun!
It’s always great to meet a passionate fiber lover!

My friends Kathleen Pascuzzi and Karen Ryan are so great! As the four of us (Kathleen, Karen, Hannah & myself) sat at the Louisiana Cafe enjoying a delicious breakfast (Hannah’s intro to hollandaise sause!) I reflected on how fortunate our family has been in our Minnesota friendships.

Where were Gerry and Max on a lovely Mother’s Day? At the TWINS game! They were gifted tickets by another great St. Paul friend, Robin Mayfield

BTW, if you’re looking for a compassionate, respectful, brilliant and diligent divorce attorney, Robin’s your woman!

I misted up a bit thinking what  friendship like theirs, and London’s, has meant not just to me, but to our entire family. It’s been six years since we moved here, and the folks who have befriended our family have made our lives here VERY rich and full.

When I wander a craft fair or fiber show, I LOVE to connect with folks who make exceptional things, and I especially love to write about them later. Although, I must admit that I often feel badly when I post about cool makers, KNOWING that I’ve missed many folks who were also exceptional.

I hate that feeling that my oversight could be taken as a judgement. If you were at either show and I missed you, PLEASE feel free to add a link in my comments to your site!

So, with the caveat that there were probably folks who were doing AMAZING things and I may have missed them, here are some of the cool and beautiful things I’ve seen over the past two days!

Lovely Felted Scarf

Lovely Felted Scarf

Jill Lynn
Fiber Artist

Jilllynn.com

Jill works with felting, and sells finished items and materials to create your own beautiful felted items.

She was exhibiting at Shepherd’s Harvest, and I was in love with her skill, designs and her color choices!

A beautiful felted scarf by Jill Lynn

Another gorgeous felted scarf

One of her repeating themes was a lovely scarf which looked like leaves folded around a neck, with felted bobbles.

One version was double sided, with two colors and so much depth.

Jill’s work was skillful and joyful – it’s times like these that I wish I had an unlimited bank account to buy pretty things whenever I see them!

Devin Johnson
MakeShift Accessories

I couldn’t tear myself away from Devin’s booth at Craftstravaganza, and I wasn’t the ONLY one! Many folks recycle industrial items in their art, but I’ve seldom seen it done with more finesse than in Devin’s cuff bracelets.

Cuff Bracelets

Cuff Bracelets

I have SUCH a love for machined signs – I photograph them wherever I see them (there’s a terrific one in the elevator at the Minneapolis Institute of Art) and they make me smile. To me, work like this represents a love for your craft, no matter how pedestrian it may seem, which really resonates with this knitter.

More Cuffs

More Cuffs

Devin’s pieces are DEFINITELY going onto my “What to do with extra cash” pinterest board!

il_fullxfull.438970536_79pcCindy Lindgren
Illustrator

Cindy’s work is exceptional, and I’d seen it around in various Twin City gift shops without realizing it  was hers.  I was so happy to be able to meet her in person, and just sorry that my pocketbook didn’t allow me to indulge my love for her clear, precise, well colored and love-filled art.home_main

Visiting her website, I discovered that she ALSO designs fabric – WAHOO!!

I have placed my order, I’ll be wearing a skirt made of Cindy Lindgren fabric at TNNA, be warned!

After meeting Cindy, I realized that I had wandered onto her Etsy shop earlier and had favorited her – it was just lovely to meet her in person!

 

Boucle Earrings

Boucle Earrings

Jennifer Putzier
Isette

Delicate yet very strong, the lovely pieces crafted by Jennifer are lightweight and graphic, very compelling, and VERY wearable! Many of the pieces seem to be inspired by typography, used very effectively. These are not pieces that fade into the background, these are lovely pieces that make a statement!

In addition to the beautiful jewelry, Jennifer sells tiny lightweight wood cross stitch canvases which are exquisite (many were beautifully embroidered, and empty ones are also available for your own threaddy interpretation!)

il_570xN.239953488London Nelson
My Friend London

And, last but not least, my own good friend London was selling her exquisitely scented candles and beautiful hand-spun yarn.

If you didn’t get that skein you were hoping for this Mother’s Day, perhaps you’d like to pick up one of London’s beautiful fiber poems?

Signing Books & Saying “Hey!”

Shepherd's Harvest FestivalIf you’re in MN and you like fiber related stuff, you HAVE to go to Shepherd’s Harvest.  It’s held every year during Mother’s Day Weekend (or, Fish Season Opener, as it’s known in MN) at the Washington Fairgrounds in Lake Elmo, MN.

I’ve taught here several times, and I’m always blown away by the variety and quality of the vendors and displays at this show! I visit a LOT of fiber shows, and perhaps it’s because this is in my backyard (in a large-backyard sense…) but I just adore Shepherd’s Harvest!

I’ll be signing books on Sunday at noon at Shepherd’s Harvest, I’ll have several of my books, including my newest (History on Two Needles) and I’ll be able to take credit cards (but hugs are just as good!)

Cycles For ChangeIN OTHER NEWS

It’s well known that I bike a lot – I LOVE my bicycle, I love traveling around the twin cities on two wheels, I love the exercise and how great I feel after a nice, long ride!

There is an organization in St. Paul that helps an under-served community experience the pure joy of cycling and bike ownership. It’s called Cycles For Change (formerly known as Sibley Bike Depot) and it’s a wonderful non-profit organization that offers classes, bike share programs and bikes and parts for sale.

They offer Youth Programs, amazing “Earn a Bike” programs and Women/Trans bike repair class nights

I’ve taken advantage of a few of these and they’re GREAT! I have no problem with male cyclist, I love them! But sometimes learning about the mechanics of bike repair can seem like a cool-boys-grunge-club, and a middle age woman can feel out of place.  The women/trans friendly bike nights have helped me gain a lot of confidence in my bike repair skills

In early June they’re having a Bike-A-Thon – basically a fund raising bike ride around St. Paul. Of course I’ll be there – with BELLS on – and with my son, Max, who will be riding with me.  It think we’ll do the 20 mile loop, (but I reserve the right to do the 10 mile if I’m feeling less than 100%)

It’s a fundraiser, so if you’d like to sponsor me I’d be thrilled!  Click on this link to support our ride to help Cycles for Change!