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Crafts by Carolyn

April 28, 2008

Birdhouses, snowmen are local woman’s speciality

By Jen Bakken
Staff Writer

If you stop by the Delano home of Carolyn Haan, you will most likely find her in the basement craft room.

Her organizational skills are more than apparent when you witness the labeled bins, boxes, drawers, and crates full of her colorful seasonal supplies.

As she walks downstairs, her work area is wired to be ready with the flip of a switch.

One light switch turns on not only the lights, but also a glue gun and her radio, which is always set to her favorite country station.

Making decorative and themed birdhouses, pinecone snowmen, silk floral arrangements, pillows, and table runners keeps Haan active.

“The big birdhouses have air fresheners in them, the small ones have potpourri,” Haan said with pride. “They are really my specialty and sell quite well.”

The pinecone snowmen are also popular, and she makes approximately 200 each year. The little snow-people sport hats, scarves and involve themes such as holidays, the Minnesota Vikings, or the Red Hat Society.

She looks forward to having a booth at local craft sales and boutiques. Because of gas prices, she tries to stay within a 30-mile radius of Delano, and buys many of her supplies on sale to keep her prices down.

The decorative birdhouses range in price from $22 to $35, and the small pinecone snowmen are only a few dollars.

The ideas for her crafts mostly come from magazines. When she finds an item she likes, she will take the idea and make it her own.

Surprisingly, she has only been making crafts for about the past seven years, but was very involved in 4-H as a young girl, where she did a lot of sewing.

With vivid memories of her grandmother making beautiful fabric flowers, and her grandfather and mother making wonderful quilts, she admits she could have gotten her creativity from them.

As for other crafty family members, she said her grandson is very creative and makes wood products in his spare time. Two of her daughters have artistic abilities, and her 9-year-old granddaughter seems to have an interest in crafts, as well.

“She has even collected pinecones for me,” she said. “I thought that was so cute.”

Her husband, Paul, actively volunteers for the Delano Senior Center, Delano Helping Hands Food Shelf, or wherever else he may be needed, and Carolyn enjoys being outdoors during the summer months when she is not crafting.

Though her husband may say she spends too much time crafting – about five hours each day during the winter months – she enjoys it and admits she isn’t a couch potato.

“It’s relaxing down here to me. I’ve got my radio on all the time. I like to keep busy and can’t just sit and watch TV,” Haan said. “But I do watch American Idol. I like that show – I was so mad when they voted Christy Lee Cook off.”

Carolyn and Paul have lived in the Delano area for 30 years, except in 1998, when the couple spent a year living in Tennessee.

They moved to Tennessee after Paul took an early retirement from his position as a supervisor for Graco, and after one year of living there, they decided Delano was home and where they wanted to be.

They have three daughters who all live in the area, Kryn Forseberg, Lynn Anderson, and Amanda Haan; three grandchildren, and one great- grandchild.

To place an order for a decorative birdhouse, pinecone snowmen, or to find out where to find Crafts by Carolyn at a boutique near you, contact her at (763) 972-6853.

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