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!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Simply Giving, Third Saturday, and Gone Fishing!

Wishing young and old a season of playful peace!
And wanting to remind folks that Simply Giving - using repurposed materials in a simple hands-on project - can be the most meaningful exchange of all!

A reminder that 12/15 is the third Saturday of this month and the ToolBox will be open 10-Noon for a wee wintry fun! (MNice garden? Fox and Geese? Whatever the weather allows!)

Please note we will be "gone fishing" from December 20-28 (CLOSED)

Happy holidays, safe travels - we can't wait to create more sweet, simple fun with you in the New Year!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Updated Winter Hours

Welcome to winter! Though we love it (and will love seeing your additions to our mnICE garden) winter does get so cold and so dark.... Our regular hours are changing slightly (closing Monday and earlier Tues-Thurs).  Please be aware that we may shut our doors for a day or two if the weather is so bitter even Lucy wants to stay home in her jammies drinking hot cocoa and eating popcorn!

Tuesday - Thursday
10-12noon and 2-4pm


Every 3rd Saturday
We'll stick with this - weather permitting - and try to cook up some good weekend fun for you!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

What's the Buzz? LOLA Art Crawl!

Just a year ago we were tossing stones and chips about, placing plants here and there,,, hoping to get our "Podners for Peas" Rain Garden in good form WHEN a friendly fellow stopped at the fence to ask if we might want to host an artist (or two) in our gazebo for the LOLA Art Crawl?!

It was the incentive we needed to get things pulled together and open doors to Belle's ToolBox :0)

So,,, a year later, we'd like to share some other connections made with the neighborhood and community.

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!!!

So, here's hoping for 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 :0)

Always in Peace and Love from Lucy and the crew

Wednesday, June 27, 2018


Belle's ToolBox will be closed today, Wednesday, June 27.... but you can still join us.....!

TODAY we'll be helping with a program about ReCycling at East Lake Library!
10-11:30am and 2:30-4pm

Back at the shop on Thursday.....
Join the Summer Fun!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Third Saturdays at The Hive

What's the Buzz at Belle's ToolBox? We'll be open every third Saturday this summer with special activities in The Hive (our gazebo that is nestled amongst the veggies and flowers of the Podners for Peas Learning Garden).
Stay tuned for more details, but get ready to bring the family to explore!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

What's the Buzz at Belle's - May Saturday!

Just a little Buzz at the Hive (gazebo) happening this Saturday, May 19 from 10am-Noon
A little garden work, a little water work,  and a little ukulele! Bring an instrument or a shovel if you want, some here to use for those who forget or just happen to wander by!

Come Bee Happy at Belle's ToolBox!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

What's the Buzz at Belle's ToolBox?

With "Spring Weather" comes some family fun in our gazebo - fondly referred to as The Hive!
~~~This month's Special Saturday, April 21, 10-Noon, will highlight Water Ways ~~~
Simple activities, cool information on our Mighty Mississippi and our Podners for Peas RainGarden.... and maybe a river song or two?
All sure to float your boat!

Hope to see you soon!
Belle's Crew

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Take a Break and put a little Spring in your step....

Visit us during your Spring Break!
We are open normal hours these days and look forward to seeing some familiar faces after the long winter!
Stay tuned for special activities and, as always, feel free to contact us with any questions/ideas.
Can't wait to build/create/plant/sing/imagine.... with you,
the Belle's crew

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

OPEN for MPS No School Days this week

A few cold weeks outside, inside, and in our noses has left our schedule unpredictable.... but we are back in gear and hope to be back to regular hours! This includes MPS's no-school days this week.

We'll be open for discovery on Thursday and Friday from 10-Noon and 2-5pm.

* Just to let you know, we got the door unfrozen. (Kudos to those of you who were still willing to squeeze through to visit!)