Abby chose. I stitched. Julian twisted (silver that is). And all was ready for a birthday party.
A mushroom take-along, lined in orange, trimmed with pink. A pair of mushroom earrings. A wee ladybug card . Happy Birthday Caroline!
And we didn’t have to go birthday present shopping – everything was found in the stash – put together with fun and care – just how we like it.
This really strikes a chord with me. As I look about my family and my home, I see more and more signs that we are kind of opting out of the constant consuming that pervades our society. That’s not to say we don’t go shopping – all those craft supplies have to come from somewhere, and we enjoy a silly afternoon at the mall every now and then – but I’m just over the whole blindly following what I’m told I need and must have this season. Ick! I want my family to behave like, look like, sound like US. Not an ensemble that could be plucked out of a catalogue and held up as “Yes, this collection represents the average family in 2009″.
Just this evening I was reading Faythe Levine’s (Handmade Nation) thoughts on craft being political …
” My personal belief is that if you are making something by hand than that act itself is a political act. We are living in a disposable society and we have so much being thrown at us of how we’re supposed to live, and how our house is supposed to look and what we’re supposed to wear, and so when you are stepping away from that, and taking control over your life to make something yourself, I believe that it’s a very quiet political act.”
Yes! Yes! Yes!
And it’s such a community spirited act too, isn’t it? When I pick up a needle and thread, I make a quilter’s knot like Sue showed me. When I pull out my fabrics, I’m inspired by the colourful energy and beauty of Amy and Nanette and Jessica and Kaffe and Jennifer and Heather and so many more wonderful quilters and artists who have become part of my life over the last 18 months. When I cast on a new knitting project, I use the cable cast on that a dear old lady taught me at the knitting shop many years ago (I didn’t know I did this until last night, when I was reading a pattern for hand warmers and thought “Cable cast on? What on earth is that?”). When I think about what Abby and I will do after school, I am reminded of Amanda’s energy and commitment to her children. When I choose to make more time for dinner and its preparations, I turn to the women and mothers on my shelves – Nigella, Jessica, Tamasin, Jane – and use their experience to give our meals – and my family – my best.
And then I find this (ooooh- aaaah, this animation is something else!) and this and this (perservere with this one – the dancing will fill you with smiles) – and they are so delightful and wonderful and add more sparkle to everything I touch and dream of.
Every day I dip into this community of artists and find that it lights my way with such energy and beauty. Aren’t we so blessed to share this world with people of such great generosity and passion. No wonder I’m oblivious to what the “must-haves” are this winter.
Me with my fabric and yarn, Julian with his old bicycles, Abby with her cheerful love of all that we make for her and give her. We are busy making a handmade Boot family and sharing it with our family and friends. That makes my heart sing.