Thursday, December 8, 2022

New Beginnings...

A warm howdy to old friends and new! It's been too long since updating our site, not because we don't care but because we have been so tipsy-turvy in how to proceed. In recent months, Belle's ToolBox has been SO fortunate to serve a fun mix of pods/groups! Late Spring brought a band of sweet 4th graders, Summer brought some Early Childhood staff development sessions, a favorite parks program, children from underserved settings, classes from NorthWestern University, and (multi-generational) birthday parties! Oh, and the fun neighbors who just wandered in... always sweet surprises!

We've had remarkable energy from the MN Reggio Network developed the Loose Parts Lab in the back half of the ToolBox! Folks who were inspired by the gardens and ventured to engage in activities with repurposed materials now can "shop" those materials from the LPL and extend creative learning :) What a wonderful relationship!

Here's where we take the leap... so hold onto your hat! When You see DEC, more than likely you're thinking the next date on your busy calendar. While my husband and I are thinking DECorah, Iowa!! - because we are moving there in the next couple months to be with our young family! 💕

Belle's future is an unknown... We are working on a solution that could keep its mission in place, but until we know.... please be aware, we will not be open for the next several weeks :(

This may be the trickiest note I ever did write! Our ToolBox idea developed from the inspiration I got working with small and tall people... over a few decades! It was an experiment and the best fun of my life... family and friends were most helpful and supportive all along the way 💕

And any that hold a fun memory or little inspiration from time spent here, please embrace, and be certain to pass along the energy!

I still strongly believe that early learning, with an environmental bent ,is what can help mend the deep issues on our planet!! Some may remember, our only "rule" at Belle's ToolBox - You can do whatever you want, so long as you take care of each other! Simple, I know, but turns out - it works quite well! 🤗🤗🤗

Onward and upward in Love 💕💕💕

LucyLoon and Family

Monday, March 28, 2022


Soooo wanting to Hop into a new season of fun at the ToolBox!

Given, again, some concerns with ongoing health issues, we are making a slow move to regular hours. In the meantime, we will continue to serve small pod-like groups, families, birthday and other groups, by emailing and setting up a time.

Our BIG NEWS is the coordination with the MN Reggio Network to better organize and set up the recycled materials in our back project space... Loose Parts Laboratory Materials Center!

Folks interested in our early learning concepts found in the family project space will now be able to easily find materials to support and extend those ideas! Understanding the importance of incorporating a sound environmental learning view is central to the the mission of Belle's ToolBox. Reusing "trash" or "junk" or "beautiful stuff" can not only give opportunity for play and learning, but also reduces the amount of materials we buy from the store to fulfill those needs. The Loose Parts Lab hopes to be open one Saturday a month and an additional afternoon or evening... more to come!

So, friends - old and new - keep Belle's ToolBox in mind as a unique experience and, as ever, plant peas along the way!

Monday, December 6, 2021

Winter Hiatus at Belle's

Howdy, Friends!

A better update for Belle's ToolBox is long overdue...

We've been thinking of you plenty these last few months... But it seems just as we are about to make another shift, new variables come into play. Through the fall, we did serve small pods, LOLA Art Crawl, senior meetings, families, and birthday parties! Nothin' like good folks adding life to the RoolBox 🤗

Given the wintry unknowns and our own family happenings, we are closing Belle's for a couple months. Makes me sad, as young buds and their tall buds are what make me happy!! But I and others will be here and there, gearing up for Future Happenings...

'Til next we see you, stay strong in heart and don't forget to plant peas along the way!

LucyLoon and Crew 💕

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Summer Update

We so miss seeing a stream of smiling faces come through our door. And while we’re happy the universe seems to be settling down a bit, we’re going to continue with arranged visits and small gatherings only. We’re “booked” through July.... Starting in August, if you’re interested in setting up a time for your family or pod to visit, please send us an email and we’ll figure out a time to open up shop for you!

Thanks for your patience - we hope you’re all finding fun and creative ways to engage these days! (We’d love to hear what you’ve been up to when we see you next!)

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

A little update... and reminder to VOTE!

Things have been in Low Gear at the ToolBox and life has seemed less full because young energy has not been within,,, tooling around ;)

We have, however, had small 'bubbles' visit on occasion,,, wearing masks, socially distancing, having fun! The limited slots are dedicated to past TBox friends and neighbors, so if you've an inkling, email us and we can chat possibilities.

Alternate ideas have been ratcheting up, as well. Most recently, Belle's hosted a couple small gatherings (in the open air of our gazebo) for the purpose of writing postcards to remind folks to Vote!!! Megan, neighbor and leader of her block, did all the hard work,,, locating addresses, materials, and stamps!!! We just enjoyed the fall weather, colors, and chance to write with open hearts! Much thanks to the sweet writers!

Keep us in mind if you want to organize a small gathering,,,
Belle's is hangin in there,,, and we want you to, as well!!
BTB Crew💕

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Drop-Box Update

Moose Howdies!
To young friends n old in the hood!

Just wanting to check in and say we're hoping you are well!
AND give a big thanks to our young buds who have dropped pictures and notes in our DropBox at the ToolBox gate!!!

Two batches have been delivered (most carefully with gloves) to Healthy Seniors where they are being put in envelopes (most carefully with gloves) and mailed to older friends who are isolated during this time ;)

I was lucky to get a glimpse of some of the work - deeelightful and certain to bring a smile :0)
A few of the names included Charlie, Willa, Simone, Andrew, Georgia, Wyatt, Nels, Nara ,,,which is something to remember - adding your name will add a little cheer n we'll post on our website ;)

So grab some markers (or a quill pen?) and have some simple fun on  paper,,,
so that others can have some simple fun as well!
And contact us if you've any thoughts or questions!

Remember to Plant Peas along the way!
lucylu and crew

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