Friday, March 27, 2020

Drumming fingers? Twiddling thumbs? Put them to work!

Eager to send a Minnesota Moose Howdy from Belle's ToolBox!

We closed two weeks ago thinking that it was the most responsible action for us to take.  Our setting is, after all, totally about being 'hands-on' and 'social distancing' seems an especially strange concept for us!

We, in fact, LOVE to shake hands and hug!!!

The crew has wrestled with how we might best use our 'tools' and have been in contact with like-minded community members.

An immediate action is to encourage children to draw and write messages for seniors in our neighborhood. We have connected with a group that are informed on elders who have support and those who do not. They will put your messages in envelopes, stamp them, and see that they get to homes of folks who could use a little cheer!!

If you could put a 'special message' (or several) in a baggie and leave at the box located by our gate on 34 St (NOT 42nd), we'll pass them along!

Also, thinking the Rainbows in Windows a Lovely idea! Again, if you wanted to leave some at the gate in a baggy, we would distribute to other neighbors we know who might like a rainbow for their window.

Though we are apart, we are together. Have fun, be safe, connect with others in creative ways, express your love often, keep calm, breathe deep, and - as impossible as it may feel at times - laugh as much as possible. We look forward to the time when we can once again shake your hands and welcome you through the doors of Belle's ToolBox.

Be well,
Belle's Crew

Thursday, March 12, 2020

CLOSED (until further notice)

Howdy Friends!

In response to community health concerns, Belle's will not be open... until further notice. We will update our website when our status changes. If you have questions, direct them by email to

Thinking if we all make an effort to refrain from close contact, we will help minimize risks to all. Thanks for your ongoing support of our family project space.... where hands and hearts connect :0)

Be well,
Team Belle's

Monday, December 9, 2019

Third Saturday! Today - Simply Giving ❄️

Happy Solstice! Today we will be open 10-Noon!

December Third Saturday at Belle’s

Pinecones, Puppets, and Percussives
A morning of simple projects made with small hands and big hearts... for friends and family!

Consider wearing your woolies - we may gather for a time in the gazebo or work on our MNIce Sculpture Garden!


* family treasures to pass along
* items or experiences supporting favorite NotForProfit
* locally made - neighborhood or home!
* homemade cookies, jam
* repurposed wrapping - comics, old maps, sacks
* cards - child’s artwork

Love and Peace from all at Belle’s ❤️

Friday, July 19, 2019

Third Saturday Happenings!

Belle's is open this Saturday morning 10am-Noon (7/20/19) for some simple, wacky fun! Come join in... the Hive (our gazebo) will be buzzin' with fun!

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

One person's trash... another person's treasure!
This weekend is Longfellow's neighborhood garage sale, and we'll be around for a few hours to "participate" in our own sort of way.
Saturday the 8th - 9ish to Noonish
Stop by the ToolBox for a peak at some junk that might just be exactly what you never knew you were looking for! This might also be a good spot to stop if you're looking for robot parts.... Just saying....
As always, hope to see you soon!

Monday, March 18, 2019


Spring has sprung! Well, not quite, but we are happy to report that our Front Door has!
An ice heave at the entry has finally given way to the brute force of two Marks in the neighborhood :0)

So we are returning to our previous hours of operation:
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday Friday 10am-12
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 2-4pm
Third Saturday of the month 10am-12

If you haven't had the thrill of a visit to Belle's ToolBox, come on in!
If you are an old friend - We Can't Wait to See You and Yours!!!

Spring is JUST around the corner...
and so is the ToolBox :0)

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Community Connections

Wow! We nailed it!
Well,,, not really, it’s a work in progress :0)

Hard to believe that Belle’s ToolBox has had OPEN hangin on its door, now for over a year!
While putting the project in place took a chunk of time prior to that, it was our serving as a host for
LOLA 2017 that helped us take the plunge – a real pleasure to be part of LongFellow!

The neighborhood Messenger and Star Tribune, both had sought us out early in the game and helped to broadcast our project and mission.  Thinking now, you might want to know what other community
connections we made in that first year.

Share the RiverGorge was a committee I happened on when we first moved here over 4 years ago... I
hadn’t any deep environmental background to offer, but was excited to gather up kids (Hiawatha Park
Program) and materials to make the signage that is sprinkled thru the neighborhood prior to the event.
The kids gave the project fun energy and each year we have reused, revamped, added to the project.

An ELL teacher from Sanford Middle School responded to an invite to use Belle’s as a resource space for his class; they have come weekly now for a year and engage in projects related to adaptive reuse, environment, and neighborhood! Looking forward to this semester, as well!

Leadership students from Howe School came for several environmentally oriented sessions and we
provided paints/materials for signage in their community garden – kids offered up the creativity!

A call from East Lake Library invited us to set up a learning table that would support their County exhibit to highlight Recycling... a mutual interest!

Last summer was the first that we pulled together a table at the now-classic Longfellow CornFeed – so great to meet folks from all over the hood!!

Contacts to the City of Minneapolis resulted in our having installed both garbage and recycling containers on the boulevard, near the bus stop! We had entered the Adopt the Sewer project some months prior.

ReUse and Better Futures have been terrific resources for materials needed in adapting our space; most recently, we purchased a Leopold Bench (for bus stop) made by Better Futures employees! Simple but very cool!

The lovely folk of Minneapolis Toy Lending Library joined us on a Saturday morn to communicate their mission... Again, fitting well with our nurturing young in an environmentally sound manner.

Late fall, it was suggested that we apply to join the Longfellow Neighborhood Wildlife Habitat Site
designation... we applied, were accepted, and now are happy to honor its vision :)

Thankful to Boyd Huppert of Kare 11 for finding us and highlighting Belle’s on his 10,000 Lakes
program... very unexpected, very much appreciated... and fun!

As engaging as all of these connections have been, our favorite were those with young families... each and every, who came to find some fun at the TBox... together!!!

SOOO... hoping you get the idea that we are open to all kinds of ideas on how we might interact with the neighborhood. Please let us know if you have a ‘so crazy, it just might work’ kind of thought...

Looking forward to another year of building community - with your help!!

Want to give a giant thanks to Team Jen/ Nels n Nara - their energy is invaluable to the vision of the
project as is that of my boyfriend of 39 years, Mark - he's a peach ;)

AND a huge thanks for the MANY thoughtful donations – they help greatly to keep us in gear!!!