Zabel Acres will be representing laser-cut woodness at the 1st ever Minneapolis St. Paul Mini Maker Faire on Saturday, May 30th. We’ll be in the International Bazaar, along with 200 other makers and weirdos. I hope to see a pancake-eating-electric giraffe, or something.

The Faire has been a great reason to get our stuff together and do some little things, like set up a wordpress blog. We’ve also been working on our etsy shop, filling it with pictures of stuff that we think (hope) that someone other than our Moms (we love you, Moms!) will purchase, and adding in lots of links to it.


Your Mom might love these, too.

We’ve been making stuff for a while now – we’ve made hundreds of things. There were wood books made of 6 hardwood species and bound with felt, custom name and event signs from salvaged urban trees, wooden swords, paper masks, a pumpkin, and a series of party games for an Olympic themed birthday party, among many other assorted ‘things’. Some of them were pretty good, a lot were ok, and some were hilariously terrible failures. Now, we feel like it’s time to make something more with Zabel Acres.

Walnut business cards. Or pencil holders.

We won’t be selling anything at the Maker Faire, but we are hoping to get the word out about our shop, and encourage nice folks (like you) to visit our blog and etsy shop. We’re planning to show a bunch of different stuff, focusing on our most recent Little Things theme. Our magnets, reminders, signs, and tokens are intended as gentle, loving reminders to keep the world in perspective. It’s all relative folks, so get your good when you can.


Stop and smell the Lady Slippers (or whatever you’re into)

Another theme we want to share at the Maker Faire is our design process. We don’t dwell on ideas too long, we tend to be pretty spontaneous and eager to try new materials, techniques, or process steps, adapting as we go. It’s not all gleeful prototyping and making of cool things. There are many mistakes, some honest and some stupid, and it takes patience and time  – two scarce resources. Keeping a focus on making things that we like, and that we like making, is simple but helpful approach. We’ve abandoned some pretty good concepts because we didn’t enjoy the material or process. We would rather make something we enjoy making, make sense?


A lovely day to paint with milk

We also keep a lot of the mistakes and prototypes around, often because we gave the final product away as a gift. This helps us stay immersed in what we learned, and humble. Once you get used to failing early and often, you can embrace it and move on to the next iteration.

We are all prototypes.

We are all prototypes.

Getting our stuff together for the Faire has been a good reminder of how much we have done, and how much fun it was (most of the time) to learn those lessons.

Zabel Acres, like us and most other things, is a work in progress. We are figuring it out as we go – trying to focus on what matters and iterating until we find something worth doing more. Let us know what you think, and thanks for visiting!

-Jess and Matt.

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