The beginning stages of writing for many kids can be challenging. One way our son, Emmett, becomes even more excited to pick up a pencil these days is if color is involved. Why not make your “I’s” indigo if the option presents itself? A simple way we keep track of these pencils is with the PixieSpit Rainbow Roll. My friend Lisa, a talented local artist, has created the perfect pencil roll from using leftovers from her quilt making. Ooo la la. For that first child who might be a bit Type A, each pencil has its own home! You can catch PixieSpit on etsy or, if you happen to live in the Twin Cities, stop in at Handmade Arts from the Heart this Saturday or the Kingfield Holiday Market November 20th.
Speaking of soon (and unrelated to handwriting…apologies Nick), another talented lady, Michelle, from Pretty Mommy, will be hosting a Pop Up Shop this weekend at Spruce. This is a must if you have the time.
You now have no excuse to get a head start with holiday shopping my friends. And if you are able to support small businesses, more power to you!
There is far too often a time when a simple one liner is all I need when attaching a note to carrot cake for the teachers who have dealt with your child’s broken leg (ugh!) or a thank you gift to a neighbor for watering the plants while you were on vacation…you get the picture.
For these moments I grab a handsome Quips + Queries card from local stationery company, Russell and Hazel. You cannot go wrong. The variety and size of the collection is fantastic and the quality of the stationery can’t be beat. Not a bad holiday gift either!
Last month Nick and I stopped in at the new hot-spot The Bachelor Farmer in downtown Minneapolis. To be honest, it was word of the Marvel Bar that first moved me in that direction. The mixologist has made a name for himself and the drinks do not disappoint. The sidecar was dynamite!
Aside from our memorable meal, what placed a whopper smile on my face was the red Moleskin journal we were handed towards the end of our meal. No surprise that I gasped. Just as personal as if we had been staying overnight at a B&B, this journal provided us the opportunity to express all of our feelings right there and then as well as glance at past guests reviews as well. As Andrew Dayton shared with me “the basic idea behind the journals is to get feedback from our guests as to what we are doing right and what we can be doing better.” He goes on to say “people have also used the journals as a space to doodle or write something funny or clever, which is entertaining not only for us but also for future guests who happen to flip through the books as they finish their meals. Accordingly, we leave every comment in the journals (good, bad or wacky) for all to see.” Way to go Andrew for your bravery and capitalizing an experience through writing on the spot!
Our personal comments left in the little red book will not only be read by others but a member of the TBF team reads through each new comment before the next evening’s meal and, if needed, will inform the rest of the staff of this feedback. Handwritten words that make a difference. Now that’s a concept.
In a subtle way, it reminds me of the suggestion cards pinned up at the local co-ops (yes, I am one of those who loves other peoples wishes, complaints or praises). Here is a forum via handwriting where anyone can express their feelings, stamping it with the pressure of the pen or their strong penmanship or, in our case at The Bachelor Farmer, the spill of red wine.
“Drums please”. So begins “Summertime” by DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, one of the catchiest and, in my and my boys’ opinion best, songs of all time. “Break to ya crib, change your clothes once more ’cause you’re invited to a barbecue that’s startin’ at 4”. If a better sentence about summer exists I’m not aware of it. If that song (to me at least) represents all that’s good about summer lyrically, then I’d have to say Farmer’s Markets does the same job for other senses.
My family and I are market folks and I don’t think a weekend passed this summer without one of us sneaking in a market somewhere. All those fruits and vegetables and venders combine to make a rich and satisfying summer brew of sights, flavors and sounds. And touch, too. Can’t forget about touch. Tough to beat the feel of a late season eggplant. Uff da. (The above LoveTree Farmstead Cheese and Bogart Loves Bakery are two of our favs.)
But this blog is more about handwriting than swiss chard so on we go. For me, the handwritten signs are as much a part of the overall market experience as the produce and people. Every market day those folks get out the chalk to tell the rest of us what’s good and fresh. The hand that writes each sign is unique – as can be the spelling – and is always changing just as what’s on offer is constantly changing week-to-week.
So when summer ends and we’ve been to our last market (Kingfield Market Oct. 30 was ours) I guess there’s a little bit of sadness. No more pea shoots or mini donuts for another 6 months. Sigh. But on the bright side, with shorter days comes more time indoors and that means, hopefully, more time with a pencil or pen and paper. I don’t have a musical bone in my body but if I ever write the song “Wintertime” the opening line will be “Pencils please”.