Teach Your Children Well
While I've always supported the local vs. national when I
could, cloth diapering was a lead in to a whole new realm of shopping with *real people*. As I started purchasing
handmade items when my babies were born I was inspired to begin making them myself. "Handmaking" is contagious it
seems. Now it has become a lifestyle for us, and the lessons myself and my children are learning are timeless and
valuable. They know the time that goes into making an item, they understand the process. They learn that they
can be self sufficient, they don't need to go to a big department store for their clothes, toys and jewelry, we
can make them. If we don't know how to make something what do we do? Buy a book or pattern or buy from someone
we know who knows how to make the item. My children are learning that trading is still alive and well, you don't
necessarily have to have a dollar to get what you want. They are watching me learn to balance family vs. activity
and all of the intricacies of running a small business. As all of us artisans raise our children along side
building our handmade businesses, we are creating a culture of children who will value the handmade and have an
independent "can do" spirit - priceless lessons that I'm proud to contribute to by producing and purchasing
Rebecca's handmade inspiration
What inspires me to purchase handmade items is the beauty and
individuality that comes from handmade items. You can see the time, detail, thought and art that has gone into
Recently, I just bought a beautiful handmade drop spindle from Butterfly Girl Designs on etsy. She has
some of the most beautiful spindles that are true works of art and are also functional. Function and beauty are
the best combination.
No Batteries Required
Lead and choking hazards and toxic plastics . . . OH
MY! Shopping the mass produced toy aisles these days is a dangerous endeavor. Our family made the commitment to
buy as many handmade items as possible for our children's (and our own) safety. And not just toys: soaps, cloth
diapers and covers, jewelry, clothes, tea, pottery, make up . . . it feels good knowing what goes into the
handmade items we buy and what doesn't. We also believe it is important to support moms and dads who are staying
home with their own children, and who strive to create substantial, quality, lovely, useful works of art.
Selfishly we benefit from the best customer service available and shipping usually costs less than the gas we
would use to drive to a store. The ultimate hope is that someday our children will pass on their wooden toys and
playsilks and Waldorf dolls to their own children; instead of adding broken toys and batteries to a trash heap.
I See My Grandmother's Hands in Mine
My first impulse is to say I am inspired by
my beautiful child, Rowan. But that is not entirely true. I am compelled by my child. I am inspired by my
I remember as a child that spending time with Grandma meant making something with our hands.
She taught me to knit. We collected the elderberries from the bush to make the pie. We collected acorns to make a
Thanksgiving centerpiece. We wove an octopus around a ball of tissue for a head, and braided his legs.
When I hold my young daughter's hands to guide the glue, or clap my hands for the pine cone masterpiece we have
made I see my grandmother's hands in mine.
The memories I cherish, the toys I pass on to my daughter, and
the skills in my hands, latent but now stretching to creative life... all are inspired by those hands which once
held mine, as now I hold Rowan's.
Handmade items are rooted. They have a history and they
collect stories. All of the items we make are rooted in these values and we strive to encourage wonder and simple
Handmade Is Beautiful
I love handmade stuff because no one else will be wearing
what I'm wearing. I like to make a necklace at the spur of the moment to match my outfit! But I'm picky about
quality, I want something nice to wear. So I either make it myself or buy from one of my artist friends.