I took advantage of the long weekend and headed to Minnesota for the weekend. Yesterday I visited the Museum of Russian Art. It was a great experience, and the museum space is lovely. There's an outstanding collection of Realist art from the 20th century. The portraits are really interesting. The party line was a rejection of the aristocratic ethos, glorification of the peasant worker, and a turn away from religion. Another great exhibit featured "Scenes from a Russian Winter," and it was so neat to see the winter landscape with its harsh beauty, as well as people adapting to their chilly surroundings and living their lives. I would highly recommend it if you ever make a trip to Minneapolis.
I also hit Ingebretesen's, a Scandinavian store on Lake Street that has a little bit of everything Scandinavian -- from history books to Dale sweaters, to cross stitch patterns, to lutefisk (yuck). I picked up a few really cute patterns, including this one for Norwegian Mittens (by Mary Knutson):