This weekend I picked out the fabric for Malachi's quilt. I am so excited to make it! We want Malachi to have handmade things around him. I have a handful of handmades from my childhood and I cherish them. One is a simple wooden car that my dad made. Another is a pillow case my aunt made for me when I was just a tiny thing. It shows a little blonde-haired girl (me? I thought so.) kneeling by her bed with the words "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep" above it.
I remember other things to that were made for me that I don't have anymore. What was my mother thinking?!? She's not a packrat, by any stretch. Neither am I, but I would love to have the little gray skirt and tooth pillow that my cousin Emily made me with the help of her mother when she was just 5 years old. How sweet is that?
I remember using that tooth pillow just a day or two later that same Christmas when I woke up with one of my front bottom teeth in my mouth. Good timing. And the skirt was an oft-worn and well-loved favorite of my first grade year.
When my sister was born, she was given a patchwork flannel baby blanket by a family friend (Sarah's mom, actually). The same family friend who kept me in their home for a few nights when my mom was in the hospital with my sister. Somehow this little blanket managed to be in use consistently until she was well into elementary school. It was mended repeatedly. Eventually it was packed away in exchange for blankets a little larger. But Danae still keeps it and cherishes her memories of that sweet little blanket.
There's just something special about a handmade gift. They are unique. They are usually more creative. They have a part of the creator's soul in them. We can't always make things ourselves, but that doesn't mean we can't buy handmade items that will support talented artists and craftspeople. Not to mention support our local economy or small businesses. We love shopping local and buying handmade.
Our downtown farmers market has a ton of handmade lotions, soaps, and other crafts, especially before the growing season kicks off. One woman gave me some great advice on the all natural lotion I am trying (but failing) to make. Next time, maybe I will just buy hers. There's also Etsy. You gotta love Etsy.