Posted by deborahmclaren on November 12, 2011
Driving home from the Northland Pioneers conference this afternoon I spotted a “Pottery Sale” sign on the side of the road. Not one to miss a local pottery sale I followed the signs to a little clapboard house on Palace Street in Saint Paul, MN.
To my delight it was a fall sale organized by four or five young potters from the area. And their work and designs were very diverse. Not the usual pottery show stuff! For example, the painting/sculptures made by Kelly Cox and her husband Eric Mullis.
Potters William Cook and Phillip Schmidt + fan
Tiny ant sculpture by Eric Mullis
Deer painting/plate by Kelly Cox
Beautiful Handmade Bowl
I am excited to see young artists in the neighborhood! The functional pottery and sculpture is affordable and they are a fun, welcoming group. It’s a beautiful weekend. If you stop by they are also serving up some fall goodies and hot cider.
2011 Fall Pottery Show and Sale, Sat Nov 12 – Sun Nov 13, 1792 Palace Avenue, St. Paul MN 55104
Posted in art, Buy-local, entreprenuers, microenterprise, Minnesota, Saint Paul | Tagged: Aaron Young, Deborah McLaren, Eric Mullis, fall pottery show, Kelly Cook, local pottery, MN, Phillip Schmidt, pottery, St. Paul, Travel Momma, William Cook | 1 Comment »
Posted by deborahmclaren on March 20, 2011
We’re heading to New Zealand in April. Looking for sustainable, locally-owned businesses (accommodations, cafes, art galleries, etc), organizations and events. Tips for such places appreciated. Please send directly to me at Deborah AT mm.com
Christchurch – Picking up car in Christchurch to drive to Queenstown,
considering a stop in between
Posted in art, Buy-local, cultural heritage, green travel, Indigenous tourism, sustainable tourism, sustainable travel | Tagged: Auckland, buy-local, Coromandel, Deborah McLaren, Dunedin, Earth and Sky Lab, Hamilton, Locally-owned, Milford Sound, New Zealand, Queenstown, Rotorua, Travel Momma | Leave a Comment »
Posted by deborahmclaren on February 5, 2011
According to new economic predictions, Americans will spend more on Valentine’s Day this year. Amazing amounts really – almost $2.7 million! It would probably be more if Valentine’s Day was on a weekend, this year it falls on a Monday. Think of all the sweet things we can do for our loved ones and communities if we buy-local or take a local/stay-cation! I’ve got some great ideas, but first look at the statistics:
“Consumers will be spending 5.7 percent more than last year on romantic getaways for Valentine’s Day in 2011, significantly improving upon 2009′s flat spending results, according to industry research firm IBIS World.”
“Travel is the third most popular spend category for Valentine’s Day, with $2.16 billion in projected spend for 11.6 percent of the total.” And, according to another survey by the National Retail Federation
, this is the first Valentine’s Day since 2008 where couples plan to spend more on each other than the year before. This year, couples will spend an average of $68.98 on their spouse or significant other.
First let’s look at greeting cards. Hand made cards are more romantic and personal than bought ones. Creating beautiful home made Valentine’s Day cards is easy. If you’re not crafty you can use a photo or even bake a giant cookie. Love notes are treasured forever. If you’re not a poet, tuck in a “coupon” that your love can redeem now or later (massage, picnic and wine under the stars, a romantic weekend getaway, cuddly movie night, whatever makes you happy). If a home made card is not your thing, find a local artist. Etsy.com is a great place to find cards and other gifts that are made by real people, often in your own area. Here’s a lovely example of a hand crafted card that says I love you in 14 languages!
I Love You Card by riricreations in Richmond, VA (etsy.com)
Etsy.com has lots of other crafts, jewelry, etc. Check out this cute Little Wood Valentine Monster by Little Wood People in Buffalo, NY.
- Little Wood Monster by Little Wood People, Buffalo, NY
! With so many locally-made gourmet chocolates these days its easy to find traditional and exciting new recipes – especially organic fair-trade chocolate.
I love chocolates that include spicy chilies. The Rogue Chocolatier
, in Minneapolis, is the first true artisan chocolate maker to arrive in the Upper Midwest. The Sambirano bar, made with cacao from a single family-owned estate in Madagascar, was a winner of the 2010 Good Food Awards!
One man bean-to-bar chocolate making!
Jewels for your valentine? Make sure to find a local artist that makes jewelry and avoid jeweler chains. Looks for artist co-ops, art fairs, and locally-owned clothing stores that sell jewelry. Albany, NY artist, Corrina Goutos, combines her love for jewelry, sustainable living and veganism in her new line of jewelry: Vegan Bone Jewelry, part of Gilding the Lily, a nation-wide contemporary jewelry design company. She makes all the Jewelry by hand and is committed to employing recycled materials and sustainable found art into every piece she makes.
A rose is a rose! NOT. VeriFlora® is America’s first comprehensive sustainability certification program for the floral and potted plant industries. The VeriFlora® “Certified Sustainably Grown” label is your guarantee that flowers and potted plants have been produced in an environmentally and socially responsible manner and meet the highest standards for freshness and quality. When you choose a VeriFlora® product, you are contributing to a global movement to encourage companies to become sustainable. Already, this has resulted in significant and positive change for farmers, farm workers, and the environment. Organic Bouquet, the largest online provider of eco-friendly and organic floral gifts in the US. They also provide gift baskets, fruit baskets, nut baskets, gourmet chocolates, gourmet cookies, plants, wreaths, organic cotton apparel, organic towels, and organic linens. All of these products are certified eco-friendly and/or provide for environmental benefits through participation in Carbon Offset programs.
Local food co-ops and health food stores often carry organic, locally-grown flowers these days. Hard to find in the northern climates but High Tunnel Greenhouse and Hoop House Greenhouses are changing that. With these new techniques, growing flowers year round without the need for artificial heat is possible.
If you and your love truly love good, healthy food take him/her to a slow foods dinner in your area! Slow Food is an idea, a way of living and a way of eating. It is a global, grassroots movement with thousands of members around the world that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment. Good food is the language of love so delicious slow food is about the sexiest thing you can give! Slow Food promotes the celebration of food as a cornerstone of pleasure, culture and community. Find a local chapter near you by visiting the Slow Food USA website.
Many chefs and restaurants support and promote slow food, organic and locally-grown from farms, gardens and wineries near you. Look for them in your area. California isn’t the only place that produces quality wine these days. Many regions, even cold climates are successfully growing varietals appropriate for their regions. In fact, there are numerous wineries in Minnesota now!
Considering sexy new lingerie or other clothes for your sweetie? Eco-friendly bamboo is the most sustainable of natural fibers. It grows fast, requires little water, needs no pesticides, and can reach a height of 75 feet in two months. Fair Indigo and Maggies Organics are pioneers in the field of sustainable, pesticide-free clothing. Fair Indigo is a company wholly committed to making a difference in the fashion industry by creating eco-friendly and organic clothing that is made in keeping with fair trade principles. After researching cotton and learning that it is grown on 3-5% of the world’s cultivated land, and yet uses nearly 10% of the world’s pesticides and 25% of the world’s insecticides, Maggie’s Organics committed themselves to utilizing organic cotton to tell the real story behind conventional cotton clothing. Your best option is to find locally-owned clothing stores that sell these items or products designed by local artists. Check out Peta’s Shopping Guide to Compassionate Clothing for a list of dozens of cruelty-free, vegan companies.
Red Floral Bamboo Tee from Fair Indigo
A romantic Stay-Cation is a vacation that is spent at one’s home enjoying all that home and one’s home environs have to offer. It’s an alternative to pricey, stressful vacations and is more ecologically friendly as less energy is needed to travel locally. Star-gazing and a walk in the woods are romantic and can be done very close to home. Without going far you can find locally-owned accommodations – inns, B&Bs, home exchanges, etc. Wisconsin leads the nation in production of artisan and farmstead cheeses, thanks to the work of master cheesemakers around the state. On the WI B&B website you can carve out a culinary tour based around these small-batch cheese delights. The Minnesota B&B Association offers chocolate tours along the St. Croix River Valley. If you are an Eskimo you might want to stay cozy at one of Inns North which include 21 hotels, 19 in Nunavut and 2 in the NWT, owned by the aboriginal people of Northern Canada.
Do some research – there are lots of other organizations and indie businesses that offer staycation specials. The Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis offers stay-cation programs that promote 2 for 1 concerts – you can give your sweetie a whole season of beautiful music!
Here’s wishing you a beautiful Valentine’s Day! – Travel Momma
Posted in art, Buy-local, Fair Trade, food and wine, Slow Foods, travel | Tagged: Arctic Cooperatives, B&Bs, bamboo, Cedar Cultural Center, cheese trail, Chocolate, Deborah McLaren, Fair Indigo, fair trade flowers, Gilding the Lily, high tunnel greenhouse, Holidays, hoop house greenhouse, Inns North, Locally-owned, Minnesota B&B, Minnesota wineries, National Retail Federation, Nunavut, organic, Organic Bouquet, organic cotton, Peta, Peta's Shopping Guide to Compassionate Clothing, Slow Food, Slow Food USA, Sustainability, Travel Momma, valentine day, Veriflora, Wisconsin B&Bs | 1 Comment »
Posted by deborahmclaren on January 25, 2011
Do you seek adventurous travel that enables you to learn, have fun and help others? Responsible travel offers all this and more.
The choices we make when we travel can either help or harm the people and places we visit. We’re seeking photos to illustrate this.
There will be one quarterly award by Responsible Travel Australia for the best photograph received by March 1, June 1, September 1 and December 1 each year.
Visitors to this site will be invited to vote for the best photograph for each quarter. So the earlier in the 3 month voting period you enter your photo the more chance you’ll have of receiving maximum votes! Tell your friends and family to vote for you!
The prize for the winning photo each quarter will be a copy of the Ethical Travel Guide, Tourism Concern 2009 – an excellent resource for Responsible Travellers.
The overall winner each year, (selected by the Responsible Travel steering committee) will be chosen from the winning photos in the quarterly competitions for that year. The winner will receive the Responsible Travel Photographer of the Year award (the prize will be notified early 2011) and published in various appropriate media.
To download an entry form.
To contact Tourism Concern.
Posted in art, award, photography, travel | Tagged: Ethical Travel Guide, photo contest, responsible travel, Responsible Travel Photo Contest, Tourism Concern, travel photography | 3 Comments »
Posted by deborahmclaren on November 1, 2010
Please join me on my new Facebook page which celebrates LOCAL food, art, culture, heritage and travel. Please feel free to post about locally-owned businesses, organizations and events! See you THERE!
Buying local is the best investment in our economy!
Posted in art, Buy-local, ecotour, entreprenuers, Fair Trade, family travel, food and wine, green music, Indigenous tourism, microenterprise, Minnesota, Saint Paul, sustainable tourism, sustainable travel, theater, travel | Tagged: art, culture, Deborah McLaren, Facebook, food, heritage, Local Flavor Travel, Locally-owned, travel, www.Facebook.com/LocalFlavorTravel | Leave a Comment »
Posted by deborahmclaren on October 29, 2010
Looking for something chillin’ this weekend?
I’m heading to Bare Bones Theater’s all ages Halloween performance at Hidden Falls Park, along the Mississippi River in Saint Paul, MN. This year its Carnetheria, a puppet spectacle that plumbs the deep and darkest depths of a dreamlike Carnival. It’s going to be cold so we’re wearing lots of warm things and taking hot chocolate. First, we walk through the woods meeting amazing creatures and people. We find an open air theater in the middle of the woods and have a seat on hay bales. Then a spectacular puppet performance will take place in the dark woods; mysterious music provided by a live orchestra. My son, Anil, and I missed the 2009 performance so we’re looking forward to going again. Here’s
The Amazing Fire Battle!
Click here for a clip from the 2009 performance of Devoured — Spirit Puppet –Created by Soozin Hirschmugl.
As they say on their website, “Using larger-than-life puppets, shadow puppets, bike puppets, costumes, masks, song, dance, stilting, aerialism, fire artistry, and original music by a live orchestra, the BareBones Halloween Outdoor Puppet Extravaganza promises an unforgettable nighttime spectacular through the best traditions of community theater, public pageantry, and seasonal celebration.” An amazing amount of time, artistry, passion goes into the preparation, theater and music, and clean-up of the outdoor performances which are held for two weekends – the weekend before Halloween and the weekend of Halloween itself. This is a tiny peek into the magic that takes place to create these shows:
Too cold to be outdoors? Try Bomp: Bedlam Theater’s recurring dance party/caberet that will move to Nick and Eddie on Loring Park for a Halloween edition with the Moongoons (who provide ritualistic energy exchanges that concentrate the powers needed for spellcasting & party rockin. Srsly), Shannon Blowtorch, Wzz Wnshp (burlesque) and Plain Ole Bill. (10 p.m.-3 a.m. Fri. $5-$7. 18-plus.
Rainy Day Cabaret (a “cryptic” cabaret) will present “Wake the Dead” the Old Arizona Theater in Minneapolis on November 4, 5, and 6th. RDC was conceived in 2007 by Joanie Mix, as a part of the 2007 Minnesota Fringe Festival, with her production of Making Dolls. RDC is a group of emerging artists who hope to provide a new and continuing form of entertainment for any level of art enthusiast. Through the use of choreography, music, video and costume design, a dark world is generated where you are invited to come and fill your open mind.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow will be presented by the Reader’s Theatre at Oliver H. Kelley Farm, Elk River MN (directions) on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010 at 6:30 and 8 p.m. Fee: $10; Reservations: required, call 763-441-6896 , Step inside the rustic barn at the Kelley Farm for a performance of Washington Irving’s horror classic “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” Performances last approximately 1 hour. Not recommended for children under 10.
Join Anil and I on Friday at Matthews Park, 2318 28th Ave. S. Minneapolis for the annual Halloween Party and Parade (4-5:30 p.m) This Seward neighborhood parade is a beloved event for the ghouls in the community as well as spirits that float in from various parts of the Twin Cities. A party with games and treats follows in the recreation center. It’s free, no registration necessary – just dress up and show up! For more information, call 612-370-4950.
The Fitzgerald Theater, St. Paul
If you’re really daring visit any of the real haunted places in the area: The Fitzgerald Theater, Forepaugh’s Restaurant, The Caves, and the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul or The Seventh Street Eatery and City Hall in Minneapolis. Twin Cities Nightclubs has a list of Halloween parties for adults.
Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!
Posted in art, family travel, quite unusual | Tagged: Barebones Theater, Bedlam Theater, Bomp, Deborah McLaren, Fitzgerald Theater, Forepaughs, Halloween, haunted houses, Joanie Mix, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Minnesota State Capitol, Moon Goons, Nick and Eddie, Old Arizona Theater, Oliver H. Kelley Farm, Plain Ole Bill, Rainy Day Cabaret, Seventh Street Eater, Seward Halloween Parade, Shannon Blowtorch, spirit puppet, St. Paul, The Caves, the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Travel Momma, Twin Cities, Twin Cities Nightclubs, Wzz Wnshp | Leave a Comment »
Posted by deborahmclaren on October 20, 2010
La Evolución Silenciosa (The Silent Evolution) by sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor
Just over 30 feet underwater in the Cancun and Isla Mujeres National Marine Park, 400 statues–each based on a real person–have been anchored together as part art, part artificial reef and part tourism. The work, called The Silent Evolution, is in the Museo Subacuatico de Arte, the world’s first underwater sculpture park.
The Silent Revolution
The Silent Evolution by Jason deCaires Taylor
Jason deCaires Taylor, the British sculptor (former grafitti artist who grew up near the sea in Malaysia) who created the project says he built it to reduce the negative impact tourism has had on Mexico’s reefs, as well as show humans and nature living in harmony. The cement statues are part of an artificial reef that coral and aquatic plants will grow on. His other underwater art includes a sea garden in the West Indies and human under water sculptures in a quaint English garden. Go to his website to see how the sculptures look after coral have started to grow on the installations.
The Silent Evolution by Jason deCaires Taylor
Coral growing from sculpture created by Jason deCaires Taylor.
Posted in art, climate solutions, cultural heritage, Mexico, ocean, quite unusual, water | Tagged: artificial reef, Cancun and Isla Mujeres National Marine Park, coral reef, Deborah McLaren, Jason deCaires Taylor, La Evolución Silenciosa, Mexico, Museo Subacuatico de Arte, sculptures, The Silent Evolution, underwater sculpture park, underwater sculptures | 1 Comment »