Two years ago I fell in love with the hand made challenge. I didn't take the challenge per say because I knew there where things that I wanted to buy for my family that were made in a factory. Things like socks and underwear and furniture. As much as I would love to buy some custom furniture thats something that's way, way out of my budget. So in 2008, I made all the gifts that I only gave to my friends. For the ladies in my small group I made small purses. They where adorable, I wish I had taken a picture of one so you could see just how cute they turned out. They where square with a single handle that you put your hand through. Just big enough for a wallet, keys and a cell phone. The ladies loved them and I instantly wanted to start an Etsy store selling them but I'm lazy so I never made another one of those bags. There still lives the possibility that one day I'll start that Etsy store.
The other thing I made were small note books. I got that idea from some website that had a tutorial. The lady makes photo wrapped journals and I fell in love with her website, like I do all website that have ideas I wish I came up with. It was my favorite website for about a month and honestly I haven't been back since that Christmas two years ago. So I made these small journals for my friends. I used some of my own photos and others I thought where appropriate. I pick a special picture for each person and on the back I hand wrote a message that said, "Made especially for you by my hands". My signature was signed at the bottom. When I gave them out everyone was surprised. They loved them but I have no idea if any of those books got used. It dawn on me after Christmas that I'm the one who likes journals, I have no idea how my friends feel about them.
That's part of my problem, I get so excited about the idea of the gift and how much I would love it that I don't stop to think if anything else would love it. I think I might have already done that with this year's Christmas gifts. I some how came across Jennifer Strunge's website cottonmonster.com and again I fell in love with her imaginative creations. I wanted a cotton monster for myself. No, I wanted all the cotton monsters. I wanted to fill a ball pit with them and jump into the pit and swim around. I instantly decided I was making everybody I know a little monster. "They will love them!" I told myself. Again reason came knocking and I thought What if no one liked my monsters? What if they just think they are ugly? What if they took my hand made gift for granted and gave it to their dog as a chew toy? Terror gripped my mind.
Then I remembered that I was no longer concerned with meaningless gifts that fill our houses and push out our hearts. We have fallen into the For Sake gift buying, just buying gifts for the sake of buying gifts. I think the only thing worse then forgetting to give someone a birthday present is giving them a thoughtless meaningless gifts. At least when you forget someones birthday you try to make up for it by doing something thoughtful. usually the question, "What do you want to do?" comes into play. When you buy that gift set of potholders because it was on sale and then give it to a single man who doesn't cook, it says you didn't care enough to think about who you where buying the gift for, you just bought a gift and would figure out who you would give it to later. This is one of the side effects of For Sake gift buying, thoughtlessness. Debt is another side effect but that's another post.
So I'm going to make my adorable fish monsters and give them to my friends. If they don't like them, I don't care. What they should thinking about is while I was cutting, pressing and sewing these cuties I was thinking of them. By name. And how much an adorable monster would cheer them up on a rainy day.