Welcome to A Tranquil Nook Blog

We welcome you to follow along on our crafty adventures. Frank is a farmer by day, jewelry and hand braided cord-maker by night. Jane simply fiddles with fabric and fiber any time she can. We share things about what we make, how we make it, where you can get it.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Upcycling Wrapping paper - A Holiday Activity to Share

One of my fondest childhood memories is crafting with cousins at Grandma's house. Back in those days there was only one TV, used by adults, so after the presents, meal and dishes were done on Christmas day, we young ones retreated upstairs to "make things."

We did not make these stars, but oh, we would have if we knew about them. :D The idea comes via Janice of Aubrey's Beads in a blog post on Star Ornaments
and here is her how to video

Before you get to the stars, you may want to make the beads from wrapping paper.

Here is one quick method from Threadbanger

What do you think? Are there stars and beads in your today?


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Preparing for Market Dec 18

Last day of Bemidji's Natural Choice Farmers Market 2010 season is Dec 18, 11am to 3pm. The former Burger King Bldg across from Paul & Babe has been an admirable indoor location. Good acoustics for the music and just the right amount of space to fit us all.

Getting ready to bring goods to market is always an adventure. This Friday Frank has been busy in the kitchen. First some traditional Swedish Stollen - made the way his Mom always did for winter holidays
Stollen the Carlstrom way is a sweet yeast bread, packed with candied fruit, topped with a light powdered sugar frosting and slivered Almonds. A new fudge recipe he is trying is also cooling in the background.
Separating eggs - yep, Farm Fresh: green and brown shell eggs from our own hens.

Next up, with a whole new set of bowls and equipment was Gluten-free Angle food Cake. Separate sifters, separate bowls - no pans or utensils that had wheat flour are used in making the Gluten free foods. While there are some great and tasty choices for gluten free baked goods at market, Frank has been listening to the people who are asking for more gluten-free foods and plans to provide more choices in the cake and pie arenas. One of his specialties is Angle food Cake -- this is the first recipe he is converting to a gluten-free offering.
Here it is cooling in the pan. It will come out and be cut into 1/2; 1/4; and slices when he wakes up Sat am. If one of the slices passes the taste test - then the 1/2; 1/4 and 2 slices will be available at market.
Through out the week, Frank has been stranding stone bead necklaces and making more semi-precious stone earrings. Last night he was working on peyote beading.

And what have I been up to - making felt swirls in red and white. Most became ornaments. Some with bells.
Some with buttons:
And three became a statement necklace:
And now the home fires are stoked, the cat has had his middle of the night feeding, I'll post this out and head back to bed for a few hours before the second waking, morning chores and heading out to market. Except for baked goods, car was packed yesterday. So no last minute scurrying about.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Bemidji Natural Choice Farmer's Market - Dec 11, 2010

It is happening

Bemidji Natural Choice Farmers Market

Saturday Dec 11, 2010 11am to 3 pm

inside the old Burger King Building
(Paul Bunyan Drive and 2nd St. - across from Paul & Babe)

Vendors for Dec 11 include:

Kroeger & Rixen Farm - Choose from a variety of honey/bee products and fruit preserves. Garlic bulbs from this summers garden will add a tasty kick to many dishes. Plus special for winter market - Gail if offering matts, doilies, bowls hand knit with yarn she spins from her flock of sheep. As one of the editors of Loon Feather Press, she is also bringing books by local authors.

Terry Honstead with original art, prints, and cards, handmade glass necklaces and earrings, as well as handmade Christmas ornaments that are made from found objects.

Northern Wind Creations. Along with a wide variety of soaps, Jeana and Bert will have tasty baked goods, bread in a jar, aprons, and their all cotton bags for baking potatoes in the microwave.

Paradise Valley Buffalo Ranch with their full range of Bison products. Think lunch meats for party platters, roast bison for Christmas dinner, jerky for stocking stuffers, and chew bones for the family dog. Mary also has available for purchase a few tee shirts with the Bemidji’s Natural Choice Farmers Market Emblem. Profits from the tee shirts help fund the market (rent, etc.).

A Tranquil Nook offers Semi-precious Stone necklaces and earrings hand strung by Frank naturally compliment neck and ears. For stocking stuffers or small gifts that let buyer or recipient add their own personal twist "Kits & Bits" check out the DIY hand braiding cord kits, and pre cut felt shapes. And especially for the winter season, Jane has created sets of felt holly napkin rings to brighter the table setting.

Guthrie Gator Farm & Gardens offers baked goods: breads and cookies. A fine watercolor artist, Angela will also have cards printed from her paintings.

Ode and Company brings warm homey goods. Larry’s loom woven rugs, place mats, mug mats. Plus goodies from Heather's Kitchen and Rocky's Kitchen that will include Breads, Pastries and Fancy Christmas Cookie Platters

Chill Creek Ridge features a variety of baked goods most gluten free, some not; sugar free and low glycemic a specialty; luscious chocolate in the form of fudge and truffles. Jam and Jelly preserves for eating yourself or gifting. And for banquet table pick up some potatoes and squash.

Music for this Saturday is by Smoke from 11am to 1pm.

We invite you to come on out, listen to good music and enjoy a cup of coffee or cider on us as you browse our home grown produce and home made foods and hand crafted goods.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Works in Wool art show Opening Reception

Ho Wah! My first solo art show opens tonight. Here is a little preview with an artist statement. For those who would like to join us, the reception is at The Cabin Coffeehouse, 3rd St Bemijdi, MN, USA 5pm to 7pm Friday Dec 3, 2010

For those who would like to come but cannot, I'll be posting photos of the show after the opening. The work is rather primative and tactile, will be interesting to get comments and see responses to it this evening. Thanks so much for reading. J

Works in Wool

Presented at The Cabin Coffeehouse - Back Room
December 2010

Artist: Jane Carlstrom

Artist Statement:
My inspirations include past, present and future - the land, sky and water around me, people, animals and plants - what ever comes into my ken. Things I’ve read, things I’ve seen. Looking at, and feeling fibers and fabrics and vintage patterns. These all roil and boil together ruminating in my mind until an urge to make something specific comes to the fore...... and if energy comes with it a hat or other creation comes into being.

My focused and serious foray into hat making and art began in the late 1990s after retiring from a 33 year career in nursing. The path began with a desire to clean, restore and wear vintage hats. Soon, I began adding my own touches, reshaping and refashioning vintage hats; then onto needle felting hats and sewing original hats. Along with hat making, I create other wearable accessories, clothing; and more recently, home decoration pieces.

My goals are:
1. To create joyful, beautiful, wearable hats & head gear that let a person’s spirit sing. Wearing a hat makes me comfortable and lifts my spirits; I want to share that comfort and joy with others.
2. To develop patterns and kits that allow people of different skill levels to explore handiwork, to take a basic idea and make it their own.

Being mindful of the environment, I mostly work in natural fibers and fabrics and in recycled/upcycled fabrics. For developing patterns and kits I explore use of die cuts mixed with hand cuts. Precut kits allow the user to focus on sewing and embellishing the piece.

Many thanks to Noemi for hosting this show.

Fall Leaves