Seasonal containers

The holiday season is fast approaching. If you're looking for fresh ways to jazz up spruce tips and create a festive container, both Bachman's and Gertens are offering workshops.

At Bachman's, participants will learn how to design, plant and embellish a spruce-tip container that can transition from Thanksgiving through the holidays. The workshop will include tips for creating different themes, as well as a container to bring home. Workshop will be offered five times: 2 to 4 p.m. Nov. 1 and Nov. 7; 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 10, Nov. 17 and Dec. 1. Location is the Design Room at Bachman's, 6010 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls. The $50 cost includes all materials. Register at or 612-861-7311.

Gertens is hosting a Spruce-tip Planter Party, with design tips and instructions for creating your own spruce-tip pot. Then shop for accents and greenery to customize your pot. Attendees can choose a 12-inch pot for $29.99 or a 16-inch pot for $49.99. Cost includes a container with potting soil, spruce tips, pine boughs and design instruction. The workshop will be offered 2 to 4 p.m. Nov. 7, and 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 10 at Gertens, 5500 Blaine Av., Inver Grove Heights. Preregister at

Green countertops

Find out about the characteristics of eco-friendly countertop materials — from recycled glass to bamboo block — at Natural Built Home's free class "Smart Countertop Ideas," 10 a.m. Nov. 14, 4020 Minnehaha Av. S., Mpls. RSVP at 612-605-7999 or e-mail

Home for the holidays

We'll soon be pulling out tubs holding decorations, centerpieces, lights and garland. The Bachman's Holiday Ideas House can help inject some fresh inspiration in this season's holiday decor. Starting Nov. 5, the Bachman's historic family home will be decked out with festive new, repurposed and vintage furnishings and accessories. The house is open for self-guided tours through Dec. 13 at 5936 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls. Tickets are $5; a part of proceeds benefits Washburn Center for Children. Go to or call 612-861-7311.

Project central

Tap into the expertise of builders, remodelers, landscapers, architects and designers at the Home Improvement and Design Expo, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 7 at the National Sports Center, 1700 105th Av. NE., Blaine. Bring your photos and blueprints. Experts will give tips and advice on the main stage every hour. Admission is $6; free with a food-shelf donation. Go to

Maiden Minnesota

Shop for the holidays — or for yourself — at Maiden Minnesota, a boutique shopping event showcasing the wares of 35 women-owned Minnesota companies. You'll find home decor, as well as fashion, jewelry and other products.

The event is also a fundraiser for Dress for Success, a local nonprofit that works to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women.

Maiden Minnesota will be held 2 to 9 p.m. Nov. 6 at Loews Minneapolis Hotel, 601 1st Av. N., Mpls. Tickets, which include one drink ticket, are available for $20 in advance online ( or $30 at the door; $5 from each ticket goes directly to Dress for Success. Gift bags are for sale on the website with an additional $10 donation to Dress for Success.

Art Attack

Pick up some artwork to enhance your empty walls at Art Attack, an open studio and gallery crawl next weekend at the Northrup King building in northeast Minneapolis. The event will feature the work of more than 250 artists and fine craftspeople, plus interactive art activities, art demonstrations and live music, and a special exhibit of contemporary Cuban art.

Art Attack hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Nov. 6, noon to 8 p.m. Nov. 7 and noon to 5 p.m. Nov. 8. The Northrup King building is located at 1500 NE. Jackson St., Mpls.