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.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

2012, Year of the Legend in Bemidji

Bemidji, Minnesota is our town.  Home to much photographed Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox statues. 

photo by Jane Carlstrom 2012
This year marks the 75th birthday of the Paul statue in Bemidji, thus Mayor Dave Larson Proclaimed 2012 “The Year of the Legend”  to include much hoopla, many celebrations, and wearing of traditional black and red lumberjack plaid on Wednesdays. 

The Best of Bemidji Quarterly Magazine brought out the first issue of 2012 with a Bunyanesque cover.
photo by Best of Bemidji Quarterly Magazine

 Sooooo Bemidji.  Not only does the cover reflect the theme “Year of the Legend” it was put together using props from a number of local people and businesses.  

The mustache -- YES! from me.  I’ve been making felt mustaches for almost 3 years now.  Selling them online and locally.  What a kick to have even this small contribution to the magazine cover.

Eva Fisher owner of the Babe Softie, is president of the Bemidji Jaycees (the Bemidji Jaycees are also celebrating being 75 years this year!) Eva received babe as a presidential gift by last year's Bemidji Jaycees president.

Plaid hat and jacket from Bemidji Woolen Mills. The Batchelder family has a 92 year legacy with a long and rich tradition in keeping Minnesotans warm.

The axe was used by Bubba Schwartz (brother of Tom Schwartz, who owned Olson-Schwartz Funeral Home), as part of his Paul Bunyan costume when he spoke to elementary school students in the 70s and 80s.  Bemidji Woolen Mills lent the axe for this shoot.

Lovely lumberjack lass, Lily is a frequent model on the cover of Best of Bemidji Quarterly Magazine.

To celebrate the “Year of the Legend” and the arrival of the Best of Bemidji Quarterly Magazine in local mailboxes, Best of Bemidji Quartely Magazine is hosting a “get your mustache on” giveaway on facebook.

photo by Jane Carlstrom 2012
The Grand prize is a Deluxe felt mustache. Two runners up will receive a Basic felt mustache. This poster with mustaches are on display at Grandma’s Attic.  To enter go to The Best of Bemidji facebook page scroll down to find and share Wednesday's photo/status (from 9:05 p.m. Wed Feb 8, 2012).

For more about Bemidji's Year of the Legend:

Paul and Babe Blog hosted by The Bemidji Pioneer 

Article in The Bemidji Pioneer Newspaper 

View Paul and Babe in real time via Bemidji Chamber of Commerce Web Cams

Saturday, February 4, 2012

First Friday Bemidji - February 2012

First Fridays in Bemidji are always a treat.  Many places in town host artist shows each month, the first Friday the promoninent day for show openings and artist reception/open houses.

The afternoon began at GoldPine Home, a local Adult Assisted-Care Facility, with a show and tell about my handiwork.  Around a table with a group of beautiful gray to white haired women we introduced ourselves and got to know each other a wee bit.  Then I proceeded to pull a variety of needle felted, traditional wet felted, and sewn projects out of a packed picnic basket, describing and passing around each piece.

Handiwork exploding out of the picnic basket
Two of the women had grown up on farms where fleece sheep were raised, that was really cool.  One had made and sold many wool batt filled quilts.  Another woman had sewn many of her own clothes with wool jersey double knits in the 1930s to 1950s. None of the women however had heard of needle felting.  They enjoyed learning a little about this relatively new handicraft. They seemed to enjoy the range of textures and colors.  The most popular works were the felt covered soap, the flower topped pens, and the sweatshirt bib/cape.  The hour flew by, lots of smiles and laughs shared.

Next stop Wild Hare Bistro and Coffeehouse to meet painter Jami Burdick.  A new artist to me, I enjoyed Jami’s works in chalk, especially the woodpecker and the pheasant.  All her pictures were framed in wonderfully reclaimed frames, from repurposed mirror frames to windows.

Right next door, a show by Nina Lubarski, a local art educator as well as a friend and neighbor.  A delightful new work from Nina, a children’s book shown on canvas. “Lucy Learns to Color” looks great on the walls at The Center of Therapeutic Arts.

On down the street then a turn to the right and onto Gallery North.  The Showcase artists; painter Kathy Sanders and wood carver Les Sanders.  Some of the most beautifully cut and painted gourd art I’ve ever encountered along with very nice wood carvings.  While there, found Diana Jones another friend and artist, so took the opportunity of capture a few pictures of Diana with some of her paintings.
Diana Jones, Bemidji Artist
Ah, last stop, long stop at The Cabin Coffeehouse.  They always host their first Friday artist with wonderful desert treats.  Raspberry cream cheese bites and rich dark coffee at this one.  Also a delightfully different art show by Kendra Fuller. 
Kendra Fuller, Bemidji Artist
Kendra owns Urban Essence Interiors, her focus is textured and amazing wall treatments.  (She also does plain and simple wall painting, though is becoming know locally for her creative style using a variety of paints, plasters, glazes.)  The range of her work is highlighted in canvas “paintings” in this show where large wall art also becomes small wall art. In the above photo.  Her work is very 2012, from the upscale classy metallics with a sharp cutting edge style to faux brick and other textures that give a more rustic northwoods feel.

And then, Oh boy, Oh joy. Bluebird came to play alt. country and folk styles.
Anne Meredith-Will, Kari Munson, Jesica Conrad

The awesome trio Bluebird is know for their vocal harmonies.

Hung out listening until 8pm then headed on home for a good nights sleep.

I hope you too enjoyed a lovely Friday evening where ever you were. 


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Quirky Valentines - my ad at BNI

Valentines Day is close at hand and I’m looking for lovers with a quotient of quirky, to wear or share

a fabulous feathered fascinator,


a flying Steampunk inspired heart brooch,

 or who “only have eyes for YOU babe.” 

If you or someone you know enjoys the unexpected in heart felt valentines, please refer them to booth #21 in Grandma’s Attic, Monday through Saturday 10am to 5pm. 502 3rd St, across from Bemijdi Woolen Mills.
Pam Hudson of of the owner/managers of Grandma’s Attic and me at Booth #21 in Grandma's Attic
 My quirky creations can also be seen via my personal or business facebook pages.

*I recently joined Northern Exposure Bemidji - BNI, a group of local business people who encourage, support, help each other in promoting and marketing our individual businesses.  Every weekly meeting begins with each person giving a 60 second presentation/ad of their business focus or needs.  The above is the ad I gave on Feb 1st.  It occurred to me that it would be fun to turn each weekly ad into a blog post.

Let me know what you think of this idea.  Good, Bad.  Also appreciated would be feedback on how I can come up with better, more effective presentations.  Thanks for hanging out here and reading my blog today.

With Kind Regards,