Tag Archives: NorthernGrade

Keeping It Local

A few weeks ago in the midst of errand running one of our boys, after noticing the car’s exterior temp reader, cheered “Look mom, it’s 14 degrees. It’s really warm today.”  Scary but true. Here in the Twin Cities our mental states have been hanging by a thread with a good stretch of weather barely reaching the single digits. Finally the forecast is hinting at a bit of  warmth heading to town tomorrow. So for all you locals, why not celebrate by getting out of our overly-heated homes and heading over to the men’s Pop-Up-Market NorthernGRADE.

One Winner - enter your name at The James J. Hill Library

This one has a new twist with the location in the downtown St.Paul James J. Hill Library. For a little background, NorthernGRADE is a gathering of quality retailers who all stand strongly behind their heritage, made-in-the-USA product. I’m hoping MartinPatrick3 will be selling their knock-out Terrapin stationery.


But if you can’t make it tomorrow, head to to Lunalux’s monthly Stationery Saturday next weekend where you can personalize beautiful cards on bright white felt-finish paper. Great idea for a Valentine gift! And speaking of the Hallmark holiday…


My friend Beth at fish&bee, located in Linden Hills, is hosting a kids’ card studio over the next few weeks. These studio sessions are built around a child’s imagination by using paper, fabric, glitter, painting and more to create their own artful Valentine’s Day card. Beth even suggests bringing the list of classmates! Contact Beth at eeceebb@gmail.com to learn more about the sessions being held now through February 11th.

Groundhog Day 2013

But good news local Twin Citians. Punxsutawney Phil DID NOT see his shadow so looks like spring will be arriving sooner than later. Go Phil!!

keepin it fresh

In a world where everything has become digital, it’s a welcome surprise to see handwriting popping up in the most unexpected places. Thanks to some brown ink followers, I’ve encountered a few fresh ideas as of late.

The other week I asked my friend Tasya to send me her fantabulous stuffed date recipe and I received the following response…

“I just drew this on Doodle Buddy. With Doodle Buddy you can create awesome drawings on tons of backgrounds and even use cool stamps. Doodle Buddy is available for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Check it out at www.pinger.com.”  Love a gal who’s keeping up with the digital world but still has the time and desire to handwrite. Thanks Tasya! I printed it out and it’s going right in my recipe book – and, of course, the beauty is, now I not only have the recipe but it’s stamped with her personal touch.

Another recent fresh idea came from brown ink’s #1 fan, Jennifer David.

After celebrating my birthday with her and some friends, Jenni sent me this awesome postcard from Postcard on the Run.

It’s a simple iPhone app which turns your pictures into a typed and handwritten postcard. I know, I know, it’s not the same thing as receiving a written letter with enclosed photo or even a handwritten postcard. However, it’s a thoughtful gesture and still encompasses the handwritten note. It get’s my vote.

So before I turn myself in for the afternoon with a nice glass of vino and dinner with our family visiting from Seattle, wanted to give a Shout Out to this weekends Men’s Pop-Up-Shop, NorthernGrade, in NE Minneapolis.

I first wrote about this, now annual, event last fall after noticing the trend in pencils becoming a part of the ‘old school heritage, American made’ vibe. And this year, what I believe is a new vendor, comes Doane Paper selling their stationery which has combined both grid and lined paper. Stellar idea.

So for you Twin Citians, come meet me there to sip some Moonshine Coffee or local whiskey while drooling over America’s finest material. Stay fresh and keep it local.