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


Nita, 37, Sewist, Hot Salad, hotsaladbynita.com
Rockford, IL
Friday, July 11, 2008 8:25 am

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.

Rebecca, WAHM, www.crazyhatlady.com
New York
Friday, July 11, 2008 2:20 am

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.

Julia, 35, WAHM, silk painter, http://hyenacart.com/juliadream/
East Bay, CA
Thursday, July 10, 2008 11:20 pm

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


Lori C., beneaththerowantree.com
Ontario, Canada
Thursday, July 10, 2008 10:04 pm

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.

Marlo, marlofjewelry.etsy.com
Hollywood, CA
Thursday, July 10, 2008 6:07 pm

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