Not your average children

I am inspired to buy handmade items for my original, one-

of-a-kind kids. I don't have cookie cutter kids, why should they have cookie cutter toys and clothing? My

amazing autistic boys, Pieter, 7 and Micah, almost 3, are each unique individuals, despite their special needs

diagnoses. And my spitfire redhead Aubrey, 5, could never be duplicated.

I also love supporting other

parents like me, who choose to create items at home, so that they can stay home with their children as much as

financially possible.

Danz, 31, Designer, Owner: Doodles Jewels,
MIchigan, USA
Tuesday, July 29, 2008 4:25 pm

Passing on a tradition

What inspires me to buy and make handmade? I have a hard

time nailing down one thing. I guess I grew up in an environment that cherished handmade.

Growing up in a

small farming community we made as many of our own things as possible. Mass produced items were just not readily


When I started to make my own bath and body products I was inspired by my grandma. The

comforting scent of her "chamil-a-tea" that she used for just about everything. The way that I was brought up to

trust nature and what it could provide. My mom telling us 20 years ago that she thought plastics were bad for our

health. My grandpa making toys in the garage. The wonderful sweet taste of chokecherry jam and sryup, homemade

pickles, salsa, and pickled beets. I could go on and on.

But the biggest thing is I want my children to

experience these things. I want them to know that you can pick berries and make jam. That you can grow your food.

That you can sew beautiful clothes. That you can make lotion and soap that is good for your body and the


I have found that in almost every case things that are handmade are of a much higher

quaility then their mass produced counterpart. Not to mention that a handmade product gives back to you the love

and care the person put into making it. What more could you ask for.

EarthMuffin, 29, Work at home mom,
Tuesday, July 29, 2008 11:31 am

Melissa's handmade inspiration

My inspiration for buying and selling handmade

items was and is my son, Emerson. From the time we began trying to get pregnant till my son was born we had about

a year and a half to read every book we could find on natural childbirth and healthful living. When my son, 2

weeks past due, began to die in my womb and I swelled to 230 lbs - double my normal pre-pregnancy weight - our

dream of a homebirth ended in an emergency c-section which barely saved both of us. It was a very slow and painful

recovery for me - in fact at 21 months post partum I am not fully recovered. My son did great though and was a

fighter from the start! He kept me going on the days when I couldn't even get up to feed myself because of the

pain. Somehow he kept me going. As I had been stuck on the couch the last 11 weeks of my pregnancy, I was still

stuck on the couch for most of the first few months of his life. All I could do was love him, nurse him and hold

him. I eventually learned to crochet and then Tunisian crochet longies to go over his cloth diapers to have

something else I could do since I couldn't get up and around well. As I crocheted, I healed - both physically and

emotionally. It was a creative outlet that kept me at my best for him. I discovered Hyenacart as a place where I

could go to chat with other similar minded Mommas. I enjoyed buying and eventually selling items that were unique

and made with so much love. It means a lot to me to know that often my hard earned money also supports another

family's ability to be together as much as possible by having the chance to work from home. Hand made is home

made - and that is important!

Melissa, 35, WAHM,
North Texas
Tuesday, July 29, 2008 1:42 am


I grew up in a traditional, old fashioned home. We grew

our own produce in the summer(which was preserved for winter months), chopped firewood for our furnance, visited

yard sales and flea markets for treasures, bought locally grown foods, and handmade items, as well as spent a lot

of time together as a family.

During the winter, I remember sitting by the fireplace with my mother working

on crafts. We would make wreaths, quilts, ornaments, stuffed animals, clothes for my dolls, etc. Spending time

with my mother and learning a skill was quite interesting and enjoyable, even at such a young age. I preferred

sewing, painting, dyeing, and crafting over the typical kid behavior of watching tv or going to the mall. It gave

me a chance to chat and bond with my mom, while we labored over a project which we could later reflect our hard

earned pride on.

When I got married and moved away from my hometown, I carried on my mother's beliefs by

crafting items for my new home. Shortly after having my first child though, I noticed how unfulfilled I felt when

purchasing or receiving store bought toys and clothes. Soon I began to seek out handmade items for my son to play

with. Even though I didn't have the time to make everything myself like I did before, I still had the option of

providing him with quality toys by purchasing them from wonderful work at home mothers, just like my own mom. As

our family grew from three to four over the years, and one more coming soon, I continued to buy handmade items for

my children to adore. I love to see their faces when we get a new toy in the mail. They are so fascinated by the

unique and imaginative details, something that is lacking in store bought items.

I even began to carry on

the tradition of crafting with my oldest. We frequently spend time together drawing pictures, playing with

homemade play dough, and making holiday crafts.

All in all I feel so much more complete as a person

knowing that I am doing something right and carrying on a family tradition. I hope that my children do the same

when they have children of their own.

Jennifer, WAHM,
Midwest, U.S.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008 3:18 pm

Homemade toys are real friends

I was raised with a tradition of handmade. My mother is a hand quilter who

learned from my great-grandmother and then passed the skill down to me. I hope to pass the art of hand sewing down

to my children. I truly believe you can't beat hand made goods for durability, safety, quality, and most

importantly, personality.

I didn't have to pose this picture. This is something my son (now age 2) often

arranges himself, or directs me to arrange for him. He adores his "bibis", dressing them every day, picking which

ones get the special privilege of accompanying him on errands, and tucking them into bed at night. He sleeps with

so many of them at night (ranging from tiny 4 inch babies to his two big dolls) that sometimes I can't fit in the

bed with him to give him snuggles and we have to reallocate a few of them to their little canvas bin.

Could you imagine your little one sleeping in a pile of plastic dolls? What's cozy about that? Where's the

love in that? Every one of the "bibis" in bed with my son was made by hand, so it's like tucking him in with

portable, huggable representations of love. The natural fibers adjust to his body temperature, making the babies

feel like tiny living companions through the night. Sure, they make take a little more wear than a plastic baby

that could be wiped off, but I can't help but think of the Velveteen Rabbit. It's the love, the wear, the

personality instilled into a one-of-a-kind toy that makes it become Real.

Let's see Barbie manage

that one.

Morgan, 29, Freelance Writer/Editor
Acworth, GA
Saturday, July 12, 2008 11:01 am

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