Made By Hand | Bear Fox Chalk

In our latest lookbook, The Happiest Season of All, we are excited to feature the chalk designs (and Minnetonka style!) of the creative duo behind Bear Fox Chalk, Johnna and Max Holmgren.

In 2011, a paper goods and stationery store Johnna managed was in need of a large chalk menu for their cafe.  Max asked if he could take on the project for fun and together the two brainstormed and collaborated on the menu’s design.

From that first project the thought process leading to Bear Fox Chalk was born.  Opportunities lead to other chalk projects and Johnna and Max soon realized there was an audience for starting a business centered around chalk designs.

Since then Max and Johnna have had the chance to collaborate with a variety of clients, merging visions to create original designs for each.

With projects that allow for more creative freedom the process always begins in a sketchbook. To spark ideas for future designs their daily sketches serve as constant inspirations, as well as referencing books they’ve collected over the years ranging from medieval hunting scene illustrations to vintage lettering to wood engravings.

The process for each design differs depending on size and details involved.  For the whimsical pieces created for the Minnetonka lookbook Max and Johnna loved the idea of using chalk lettering and illustration to showcase actual Minnetonka product in a fun, new way.

Learn more about Bear Fox Chalk at www.bearfoxchalk.com and be sure to follow their adventures on Instagram @bearfoxchalk and @johnnaholmgren.

DIY | Festive Wreath

As a child I’d sit on a boulder by the creek with my dad, push a fat worm onto a hook, and fish for trout for breakfast. I snipped wild chives from the bottom of the back stairs for omelets, I hung from vines until they fell and made wreathes, I painted using crush berries and grass as my ink, and proclaimed myself the wild raspberry queen, battling the birds every late July so I would have enough fruit to make jam. I learned math by knitting.

Since the holidays are upon us, there is never a better time than to do some of that wreath making that I loved growing up, using bits you can easily find in nature.

To gather the key ingredient for this project, hang from the vines in the woods until they drop, or use your clippers and go in search of the thinner kind. Types of vines that are good for wreath making include wisteria, honeysuckle, and grape, but a walk in the woods will no doubt reveal others. This is a free way to decorate your home year-round.

You’ll want vines, about a 10-foot length, depending on the size, but smaller lengths will work too if you wind them together.

Take a single piece of vine and wrap the ends together to form a circle. I recommend using a piece that is at least 4-feet long to start.

Use another piece of vine and wrap it around the frame.

Repeat this with vines until you have a thick frame, tucking in any ends as you go, and building on any areas that are thinner than others.

Then take a walk in nature and see what kinds of decorations you can find. What is available will vary depending on the season, which is great because you can change out the materials and colors using the same vine base.

Dried flowers, berries and willows are easy to find.  Rose hips are some of my favorite.

 

Spruce and pine, and holly all look wonderful.  Tuck them between the vines to decorate the wreath. Bonus if you can find feathers on your nature walk.

Then go ahead and hang it! Or give it as a gift, someone will love it. I know my grandmother did.

 

About Georgia Pellegrini:

Georgia’s taste for simple food and outdoor adventure evolved as she grew up in the Hudson Valley. She followed her passion to the French Culinary Institute and then to Gramercy Tavern, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and La Chassagnette in France. Georgia is the author of “Food Heroes,” “Girl Hunter,” and the new book “Modern Pioneering.” She has appeared on Today, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Iron Chef, and much more, and her outdoor Adventure Getaways have been featured everywhere from the New York Times, to the Wall Street Journal, to HBO. She lives in Austin, Texas and chronicles her adventures on her wildly popular website GeorgiaPellegrini.com and her Facebook fan page.

Made By Hand | A&J King Bakery

Andy and Jackie King, artisanal bakers based in New England, have certainly made a splash with their perfectly imperfect hand-made breads and baked goods at their headquarters cafe and bakery.

After opening up in 2006, A&J King quickly established themselves as a go-to for beautiful, well-made breads, utilizing traditional methods that match the historic ambience of Salem, MA, where they are located.

Andy and Jackie are no one trick ponies, also offering up delicious pastries, signature sandwiches and more in their full-service cafe.

The magic starts in the kitchen, where each step of the baking process is performed by hand, from kneading the dough to cutting the beautiful patterns on each loaf that are brought out during the baking process.

In 2013, Andy and Jackie published their first cookbook, Baking by Hand (MacMillan), further elaborating their philosophy on baking and the quality of craft they live by. They’ve shared with us their favorite recipe for the holiday season – bread pudding!

Bread pudding is one of Andy and Jackie’s favorite things to make at the bakery, and they’ve been making them since Day One! It is simple, can be adapted to whatever fruits or flavors are in season (or whichever ones you have one hand), tastes great hot, cold, or room temperature. There’s not a lot of science to it. You need a bread product to soak up your custard, and you need enough custard to soak into the bread. That’s pretty much it!

Pro tip — make sure to use stale bread (or stale it yourself by leaving it on your counter for a few hours, as fresh bread tends to fall apart when absorbing the liquid). Once you get the idea of how to assemble bread pudding, you’ll be off and running with your own unique flavor combinations.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

1 lb stale croissant, brioche, challah, or other enriched dough, 1” dice

3  large eggs

7 oz whole milk

7 oz half and half

2/3 cup sugar

6 oz roasted, pureed pumpkin or canned pumpkin

1.25 tsp cinnamon

3/4 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp nutmeg

Whisk eggs, milk, half and half, sugar, pumpkin puree and spices in a large bowl until combined and smooth.

Add the bread, and toss with your hands or spoon until all the bread is coated with the custard. Let it sit at least 30 minutes (but no longer than an hour) stirring occasionally.

Put all of the bread and custard mixture into a greased circular 8″ pan or paper mold.

Bake at 375˚F until golden brown and it feels firm when pressed, about 45 minutes. When cooled, drizzle with maple sugar icing.

Maple Sugar Icing

(Whisk all ingredients together until smooth and lump free)

6.5 oz Maple Sugar

2 oz Confectioner’s Sugar

2 oz Half and Half

Learn more about Andy and Jackie at www.AJkingbakery.com.

Made By Hand: Camp Wolf

A few months ago we were introduced to the adorable, handcrafted designs of Camp Wolf.  Designers, Cristin and Cora, repurpose denim along with Pendleton wool to create one-of-a-kind pieces that endure the active lifestyles of little ones.

Check out our Q&A with Cristin and Cora to learn more about Camp Wolf and the inspiration behind each of their handcrafted designs.

Plus be sure to enter the Minnetonka + Camp Wolf giveaway for the chance to win a Camp Wolf vest for you and your little one, along with matching Minnetonka mocs!

Tell us about yourself and your background and how Camp Wolf came to be?

Camp Wolf was born in Portland, Oregon out of a love for the Pacific Northwest and our passion for making unique things for the people we love.  Camp Wolf started as a kid’s clothing and accessories line, but since our launch in September 2013 has grown to include styles for men and women, too.

Believe it or not, we met through Instagram just over a year ago and live on opposite sides of the country (Portland OR & Richmond VA)!  We are both mamas to boys (Miles, 2; Henry, 3; Jack, 2) who keep us super busy.  We’re pretty amazed by how much we’ve grown in our first year, and sometimes we still just can’t get over seeing photos of our amazing customers and their children wearing things that we’ve made!

Tell us about the handcraftsmanship that goes into each Camp Wolf piece. How is each piece unique?

When it comes to our products, we believe in function, craftsmanship, and above all, individuality. All of our denim garments are repurposed and feature authentic, 100% pure virgin Pendleton wool, made right here in the USA.

Because all of our denim has been carefully selected from all over the country and is embellished by hand, no two pieces are exactly alike. This is what makes them truly unique!

Describe your design process.

If we had to pick one area of our business where living so far apart presents the most challenges, it’s here!  Since we aren’t able to work together in the same studio space, we begin designing a lot of our products independently.

Thankfully, it’s really easy to stay connected between endless phone calls, texts, emails, Skype sessions, and the good ol’ USPS, so we’re still able to be involved in one another’s creative processes.  Naturally we are drawn to different styles, and the way we create new products allows for each of them to be represented within our line.  We love that!

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

We are endlessly inspired by the gorgeous materials that we use daily for our line.  Pendleton wool comes in so many beautiful prints and colors, and we love challenging ourselves to find new ways to use it.

Our boys are also a constant source of inspiration!  They all have such different personalities, and it’s so much fun to see our designs come to life on them.  It’s also a great way to test the durability of our products.

What’s been your favorite piece that you’ve created so far?

Our denim jackets are, hands down, our favorite pieces.  They are what started it all, and they are what truly embody our line.  The process of hand-picking a jacket and pairing it with the perfect Pendleton print to give it a whole new life is so much fun, and we’re always in love with the final product.  Knowing that our garments will be worn with love on adventures great and small is awesome!

 Photography by:

Margaret Jacobsen
Aspen Summit
Clair Morgan