Tag Archives: Northern Grade


This morning, my daughter Bea literally ran into the window with excitement after her brother pointed out the surprise on the front lawn. Overnight the Twin Cities magically transformed from quiet autumn to winter wonderland. While many folks aren’t too jazzed about the early appearance of snow, the timing helps to kickoff the holiday spirit. Over the next few weeks Brown Ink will be out on the town at these local markets…


 Come find me this Thursday at the beautiful, floral boutique Spruce with goods from Brown Ink and locally-loved Mille on sale. We’ll be toasting the holidays from 5-8pm with refreshments, mingling, demonstrations and 10% off goods and holiday pre-order floral arrangements at 50th and France.

NG Flyer (jpeg)

And this coming weekend the one-of-a-kind, U.S. Made POP-Up Market, Northern Grade, will be in town. With it’s debut market in Minneapolis in 2010, Northern Grade has continued to grow nationally, supporting quality, American made products. I’m ecstatic to be selling my personal Brown Ink Paper Goods line featuring many new letterpress images hot off the press. Come see me over on 811 Glenwood Avenue across from the International Market Square both Saturday and Sunday.


 Finally, don’t miss the ever spirited Morningside Woman’s Club Holiday Boutique, Saturday November 22nd in Edina. You’ll truly find something for everyone on your holiday list. Just imagine if you could enjoy the holidays, even before the Christmas music hits the radio, by crossing off all your holiday gift and to-do list items while supporting a few local markets. It’s just that easy. Come find me and get inspired!

#2 Making a Come Back

Over the past few years the American Made trend is showing its face in many different arenas and one item that symbolizes this movement is the American made pencil.  Just when the last teenager has received his or her laptop or iphone, the longstanding #2 pencil is finding its way back into the old jean back pocket. Or so we hope.

One Saturday afternoon this past month Nick and I scooped up Oliver and headed to Northern Grade, a Pop Up Men’s Market held every September in NE, Mpls, where everything sold is American Made. The three of us had a blast sampling coffee from Intelligentsia, pancakes from Buckshot Sonny’s, and peeking at beautifully made shirts from Taylor Stitch. (Lucky for me, the local St.Paul store, BlackBlue, had one women’s item for sale,  a 1979 REI pumpkin colored windbreaker which fit perfectly. Score! )

Tellason, a jean vendor from San Francisco, was handing out #2 pencils made in San Francisco. Not only is it a free advertising  handout but it completely grooves with an all American product.  This is not the first time I was handed a #2 pencil while shopping. Last May in Los Angeles I stopped into Alternative Apparel and, once again, a #2 pencil was waiting for me at the check out. In this case the clothes are not American made but the general idea is  back-to-basics.


So the question is, are we actually using these pencils or do they sit in our glove compartment or junk drawer waiting for the biannual cleanup? Personally, it’s difficult to throw out pencils. For one, our kids become giddy when we take out the electric pencil sharpener. And two, we actually use pencils in our house quite a bit especially since there are now three writers at home. I feel content knowing there is a future for these leaded friends at our house.

I should mention, the one exception in tossing out a #2 is when Ollie decides to chew off the end eraser. Sorry, but that kind of kills it!

Anyone else out there notice the pencil trend or feel pangs of guilt when tossing out the unused #2?