Tuesday, December 23, 2008

the gift of handmade

I was reading this morning about a soaper whose family complained about getting her product as a gift. Apparently they preferred Bath&Body products, without ever having tried hers. Whereupon she wonders if giving handmade is tacky. Huh?

I thought of all the marvelous handmade things I've received over the years. And all the love built into them.

When sistermine and I were little, my aunt and mothermine made most of our clothes. I look at all the snapshots in our family albums and think of all that time and energy and love that went into those clothes. And baby quilts.

Mothermine doesn't sew anymore, and it got to be too much for my aunt as well. She did do alot of crochet and knitting though. I still have some of those things, and cherish them.

When she passed it was spring and till that fall I slept on top of all my bedclothes and under this cotton afghan she made.
A poncho and a cape.
Scarves, some made by my aunt, others by friends.
A friend of the family made this for me. I *adore* the appliques! King sized, hand-quilted.
Sistermine bought this for me. I wear it to RenFaires, and once, to the mall! (That was back when I worked at the mall, although I didn't wear it while I was on the clock.)
This came from a friend out west. We've only met once, but we had a good time!
Pieces of handmade jewelry that loved ones have bought for me.
My cousin made this for me! Love it!
My Dad brought these back from overseas.
My newest handmade labors of love, from a friend I've never met!
This is by no means a comprehensive list. I only shared things others have given me, nothing I've made or bought or traded for myself, and not even everything that I've been given. There's too much.
But I wanted to share the import of a handmade gift. The effect it can have. The specialness. Each piece has a story, and with each use of a piece I think of that story. It's a story of love-- one of the greatest human stories that exists.
dragon by jcarpolymer, felted scarf by ingermaaike, peyote earrings by Sand Fibers


  1. Yes! I've never heard it put like that! That's exactly it!!!!!

  2. I am very very glad the scarf ended up in such a loving place, may you enjoy it many more years. Happy holidays.

  3. Sometimes family dont't think they need an edit button, it's their loss. I treasure the thought behind gifts to begin with (you can tell if it was with you in mind even when it's store bought) and when someone goes the extra mile to make me something it means the world.

    Some people have not been taught how to appreciate things, they buy into the cost being the only value. Like I said, their loss.

    I hope this blog post is of some comfort to your friend...next year she should just not worry about presents for them :)

  4. I pretty much always give handmade, and feel like I'm cheating if I end up buying a present from the store instead. If you ask me what I got for wedding presents, the only things that spring to mind are the beautiful quilt my mother in law made, and the unique jean quilt that a dear lady made for camping use. I know what goes into a homemade gift, and maybe that helps me appreciate it more.

  5. i agree.. nothing compares to a handmade gift and the love that goes with it!

    merry christmas dear sarah! hope you enjoy the holidays!

    God bless!

    Just About Anything