Category Archives: Notes About Events

Handmade Heaven: A Mini Holiday Shopping Guide

Yesterday I got to spend a couple hours at the Autumn Festival held at Canterbury Park in Shakopee this weekend. It’s basically a GIGANTIC arts & crafts fair…we’re talking hundreds of booths and thousands of attendees (which I find kind of funny since I’d never heard of the fair before!). Anyway, I just love going and walking around, by myself, for a couple hours, perusing the goods and taking a look at what others have created (not to mention doing some Christmas shopping!). I think I have found a new little tradition. 🙂 Last year I didn’t find a ton of booths that I loved, but yesterday I was happy to find a couple of really cute booths that I was pretty excited about!

My favorite was JennaLou Designs. Seriously, check out her website. Isn’t it cute?! Lots of cute handbags and accessories. I fell in love with this:

And this:

But there was lots of other cute stuff, too. I think I spent like a half hour at her booth! Be sure to check out her etsy shop.

Another booth I liked was Everything Unique Boutique, which had lots of fun kids clothing and accessories. The booth actually had WAY more than the website shows (and their best merchandise was at the booth, in my opinion :)), but the site gives you an idea. I scored these cute little monogrammed purses for Christmas presents for my girls 🙂 :

(um, yeah. The photo is backwards. Just picture it flipped the right way :)).

My third favorite booth was called Harmony Hill Signs. They had the most beautiful wooden picture frames/shelves/signs — but unfortunately their website is not currently working! Still, if you happen to visit an art fair in the near future, keep an eye out for them. They had some beautiful stuff!

…and thus concludes my 2010 Mini Holiday Shopping Guide from my travels at the craft fair. 🙂 Hope you find it helpful!

What are some good places you’ve found to shop for handmade stuff? Share your finds in the comments!



The Birthday Party Post

(Please Note: All the good photos in this blog post were taken by my sister. Yes, that’s right, all the good photos. The rest were taken by me. Once you see them I think it will be fairly clear which is which. :))

Baby S turned 1 a couple of weeks ago, so it was time to par-tay! We invited the grandparents, aunts & uncles over and had a fun evening.

I decided on a “flower/garden” theme for the party. I’d originally envisioned a room decorated with tons of homemade tissue paper flowers like these ones from Badgers On the Loose, and a cupcake stand full of beautifully decorated pastel cupcakes much like the ones on the front of my Magnolia Bakery cookbook:

(except with some cute little candy flowers kind of like the ones on the cupcakes pictured here. )

Alas, reality hit. The party ended up coming at the tail end of a crazy week, and, long story short, I ended up with only 4 hours free before the party to prepare dinner, bake the cupcakes, decorate the cupcakes, and decorate. And clean. So…with all of the craziness, the paper flowers ended up becoming an activity for the guests (which they did a better job with than I would have, anyway :)) :

…and the cupcakes ended up looking a little gloppy since I decorated them all in, like, 5 minutes…

…but we still had a lovely time celebrating the most important part of the event: sweet baby S!

(OH! And I should tell you about the cake. Did you know that Lunds offers free first birthday cakes? We got one and used it as S’s own personal cake to destroy (though, I admit, I snuck a piece or two from the untouched side of it…once the party was over, of course :)). Anyway, they are beautifully decorated, custom ordered, and absolutely delicious! All you need to do is bring your baby’s birth certificate in to the bakery to prove your babies birthdate, and you are all set to order! Quite a deal that I would highly recommend.)

Anyway, all in all a great time…though I’m still working on accepting the fact that my baby is 1!!!

A Birthday Wish

Happy Birthday

to the man who brings me much joy...


...the man that I love...img_2_2
...home-slices forever.


p.s. W. says Happy Birthday, too. 🙂


Summer Project Completed!

As I mentioned in a previous post (that I’m too lazy to find and link to), I had the fantastic opportunity to record in an actual studio this summer. Now, recording a CD has been a life-long dream of mine, and earlier this summer when I was given the opportunity to book a gig at the State Fair for August 25, I decided that August 25 would be a good deadline to have a recording in hand by, to sell at the Fair. My original plan was to record it myself, here at home, in GarageBand* on my laptop (*GarageBand is the name of a computer program; not a literal garage band. Though that would be kind of fun), but when I told my friend Sarah about my plan, she insisted that I get in touch with her friend Russel, who has a studio in his basement, fully equipped with ProTools gear (ProTools is also a computer program, but a  more sophisticated one than GarageBand). So, long story short, Mark and I ended up heading over to the home of Russel and his lovely wife Allie for a few very full but productive days, where Russel was able to help me put together this, my first “real” recording:

It’s just a very simple, 5 song acoustic CD, but I’m very happy with is and grateful to have had the opportunity to record it! And I’m excited to be able to have it available at the Fair tomorrow night (Monday, 8/25), where I’ll be playing at the Crossroads Chapel from 5-6:30 pm. If you’re at the Fair, please do stop by and say hi!!! And if you’re not there, and think of it, would you say a prayer? Playing at the Fair is always a unique opportunity to reach those who need to hear about Jesus, and I want to make the most of it. Thanks!

If You’re Not Doing Anything Tonight…

…come to my cousin’s concert.

In the words from the Facebook invitation:

Come for a night of original music featuring Mindy Dahlen and Nate Oyloe, with special guest Sara Groves. We are coming together to raise money to buy land in Siliguri, West Bengal, India… in order to support missionaries Todd and Cindy Anderson as they open a home for widows.

Mindy is my cousin, a lover of God with a heart for India, and a talented musician to boot. 🙂
Great music for a great cause…

Hope To See You There!