Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Handmade Gifts

For your consideration: (full article here)

"A wedding, the birth of a child, a new home, an important birthday... All of these are events that mark our lives forever and should be celebrated with a gift you can cherish for a lifetime. Although mixers and vacuums are invaluable tools in our society (as I learned while trying to clean the house with a broken vacuum and in-laws on the way) they just don't do justice to the important milestones of a life. Items that are handmade don't usually end up in the trash bin in five years once they break or become outdated. Handmade goods, like a beautiful clock I once received, become heirlooms that hold memories of special times and people.
Handmade goods also have a personality that a toaster can't really match, even if it is hotrod red. When an item is handmade, a little part of the creator of that piece goes into it. Artists put their ideas, personality, style, and often blood, sweat, and tears into their work. When you find a handmade gift that is just right, you find a gift that speaks volumes about who you are, who the recipient is, and the connection between you."

I have always loved giving and receiving handmade gifts, but recently I was given a gift that really hit home for me and reminded me why handmade things are important. A handmade gift is personal - as a crafter who cares more about process than product, I appreciate more than anything the time and effort that goes into a handmade gift. It isn't so much the thing itself as what it represents.

A handmade gift requires that you put a little bit of yourself into it. A student recently made me this beautiful bookmark as a thank you - and the fact that she would take the time to put her skills to use to make something for me means a lot.

Have you ever received a particularly wonderful handmade gift? What made it special?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Knitting in July

Via pinterest.com, I stumbled across a picture of this blanket. Pretty, right?
 And, luckily, my lovely mother-in-law gave me a big bag of worsted weight yarn last month, all matching.
So, this month's charity project (which actually might take two months because it is so big) will be a blanket for Project Linus.
Project Linus' mission is "to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer "blanketeers."

Instead of following the pattern attached to the original picture that inspired it (I never actually clicked to see where it went until just now...) I figured I would just wing it. So far, so good:

 Not looking like much of a blanket yet, but it will!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Scrap Happy

Today is a beautiful day in Middlebury, Vermont.

Last week, as I was leaving church, there was a box in the front yard labeled "Free to a good home". Since I like free things, I took a peek.


None of the pieces are very big, but there are some really cute ones. 

Since I am still working on my scrappy quilt, I took them home to become part of my collection.

Then, today, I took a stroll downtown to check out the fundraising "Peasant Market" at the local church. There, I found...
 More scraps!!!

 All this scrappy goodness for $3.

Just look at those little scottie dogs!!!

And, because I am a sucker for all things handmade...

 Some pretty hand embroidered place mats and napkins.

A few years ago I would never have thought I could get so excited about a few scraps!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A few spare minutes

When I finished this sweater, it just needed a little hat to go with it.

My little friend here agrees, although I am not sure exactly what he is yet. Lion? Giraffe? Sweater stealer?
In any case, he doesn't get to keep the sweater. I hope to donate it somewhere locally here in Middlebury!

In other news, I'm linked up!

Sew Happy Geek

There are lots of fun projects, so check them out!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Dress #2

Don't know what is going on with the light in this picture, but it looks pretty fancy.
Dress #2
This dress also makes me feel pretty fancy :) Perfect for work in the summertime!