This is my favorite time of year. I love Christmas and am pretty fond of shopping. While Black Friday deals do offer some adrenaline rush they aren’t typically what I’m after for gifts. It is a great time to pick up things you need, but gifts should be special. This gift guide features a few of my favorite items created by Minnesota artisans but can appeal to anyone.

Lake Superior

Noone captures the grandeur of Lake Superior quite like photographer Christian Dalbec. Christian provides a view of the great lake that few of us would ever get otherwise – he goes into the lake – even when it is frigid outside and the perspective is breathtaking. I first learned of his work after witnessing him emerge from the water on a very cold December morning in Duluth. I’ve been a fan ever since. I highly suggest you follow him on Instagram – it is good for one’s soul!

Visit Christian’s website to view galleries of stunning images. What I love about his site is that you can select your favorite image and have it put on anything from a small card to a large canvas, so truly something for everyone.

Who is this gift perfect for? Anyone who loves Lake Superior, water, nature

Where can images be purchased?


salve tin

If you live in the Midwest you likely know how hard winter can be on your skin. Susan Landry, a former teacher turned homeschooler turned blogger took an interest in essential oils and medicinal herbs. When I first ran across her blog and read the tagline: “Life is hard. God is good. We need each other.” I knew I’d found a keeper! After much research and trial and error, she came up with some amazing balm that soothes all that is dry. (Christian should give this stuff a try after emerging from Lake Superior!) Use This Herbal Salve for anything skin related cuts, scrapes, burns, dry skin, eczema, hangnails, chapped lips…anything!  It is made with simple ingredients:  olive oil, coconut oil, comfrey, calendula, plantain, yarrow, lavender essential oil, tea tree essential oil, and beeswax.  All of the herbs are organic and the beeswax is locally sourced.  It’s handmade in small batches.

If you’d like to try making it yourself the instructions are available on Susan’s website The Sparrow’s Home, personally, I like the idea, but know I will never actually get around to making my own. Tins of this are ideal stocking stuffers, hostess and teacher gifts.

Who is this gift perfect for? Anyone who lives in a cold climate, anyone who appreciates all things natural

Where can tins be purchased? 


necklaceLike a lot of ladies, I love jewelry. I especially love jewelry that is unique. Chris Everaert creates pieces using stones and metal. The colors and shapes are organic. I first discovered these pieces on Instagram and have fallen in love with several pieces since. My favorites are necklaces such as the one shown here with rich toned labradorite stones. She also offers a variety of simple geometric earrings that are very hip and easy to wear. She is having a Cyber Week Sale!

Who is this gift perfect for? Any woman who wears jewelry and appreciates wearing something no one else will have!

Where can pieces be purchased? On Chris’s Etsy Shop




string art

I think for most of us holidays mean home. Home means all things familiar, some of our best memories, and our favorite people. Ashley Rollings makes these cool string art creations that celebrate home. Ashley began making these signs as she decorated her first home and has been stringing ever since. She is a big believer that where you are from matters and it’s the people you meet along your journey and the places you’ve been that shape your life. Nearly a year ago she quit her job as a chemistry research scientist to run her Etsy shop and stay at home with her daughter. She has created over 2,800 state signs!

Who is this the perfect gift for? Anyone who loves or misses home

These pieces can be purchased by visiting:

These are just a few of my favorite Minnesota-made items.They would make wonderful gifts. This style of shopping is so awesome for a number of reasons.

  1. It can be done in the comfort of your favorite loungewear
  2. It supports artists and craftspeople
  3. It is good for the local economy
  4. Your gift will be appreciated and remembered because it is unique

Show some love to small businesses this Christmas! It matters in a big way.