Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Happy Hour: All Hands On

The world is abundant of mass produced goods and digital replicas, prepackaged meals and plastic lawn ornaments. On the back of every plate is a stamp that says made in China and cards now arrive in your inbox, not your mailbox. We are easily detached from all this manufactured stuff. Our merchandise in theft proof packaging is devoid of human contact, has traveled thousands of miles and will crowd our landfills soon enough. But there is something magical about handcrafted goods because the human factor still exists. Someone actually has to take the time and put their heart into making the very thing you will use, devour, admire or hang on your wall. It seems so simple, but these little things are the very nature of our humanity.
I am a maker of these things, so it comes as no surprise that I am building a reputation of promoting a handmade revolution. We can be real for a moment – I still shop at Target and some nights DiGiorno will do for dinner. But it is so satisfying when I can do it myself. I love to see the moment when all the ideas come together and something tangible and real has come of the time and talent well invested. Most of the online communities I frequent are full of do-it-yourself kind of people. In fact they afford me more ideas than I have time to tackle! But I know there are enough artisans making quality products that I can substitute some of the things on my big box shopping list for beautiful handmade gifts.
 Do you have projects planned, decorations to make, cards to send, and cookies to bake? There is something authentic to giving a homemade gift, but if you are not the making type, have you considered buying handmade from sites like or or doing a search for local shops in your area? In the spirit of my effort to “Occupy Christmas” and take the commercialism out of the season, I have been compiling lists of great and affordable handmade items either to make….or buy from a real live person that handled it with care and love. In an effort to keep you out of the stores on Black Friday (which now starts on Thanksgiving!!) I am hoping you will see another way to give gifts this year. Handmade is just the beginning, but certainly the most gratifying solution for my creative soul!
Spending the week elbow deep in handmade goodness has made this the best week ever. Here are a few of the lovely - practical and rather reasonably priced -things I have been admiring (links under each item):

Strawberry Fairies
Bird and Branch Necklace
Slugs - Rainboot Liners
Sherlock Holmes Book Safe & Flask Holder
Bow and Arrows
BBQ Spice Rubs
Red Bird Print
Paint Your Own

Tonight I will be buzzing about in my studio, making things for you. So, will you join me? Pour some eggnog or a hot buttered rum and tell me what you are making to make this the best week ever?

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