Today is the beautiful day that we celebrate love in all it’s various forms. I spent yesterday having a “Galentine’s Day” with my best friend. She was Leslie Knope and I was Ann. We spent the day looking for a Ron, but alas, that did not work out.
Today, I will spend some time with my family before traveling back home.
I have so much family, friends and cat (yes, one cat) that make my life complete. The love they showed me and the Earth helped me find a love that changed my life. The love for handmade things. I have shared my love of upcycling, but this love is one has been a part of life since I was a child.
Both my grandmothers have a love for art and handmade things.
My dad’s mom would always make these blankets and quilts. She also crocheted beautiful and warm scarfs and wraps. When she passed away, I got to have her leftover yarn and creations.
On my mother’s side, everyone has a passion for feeding people. Their soul purpose is to feed others and they show love by feeding people. When my dad’s mom was too sick to make these handmade things anymore she gave my boyfriend a beautiful blanket. It had meant so much to her and though we never talked about it, I think that’s how she expressed her love. She wanted to make things to keep people warm. I still use her blankets and quilts, and when they are too tattered to use in the original form, I’ll repurpose them, another plus to upcycling.
Here are two of my favorite quilts made with my grandmother’s love. Cheerio enjoying the warmness as he looks out the window:
On my mother’s side, I come from a long line of crafters and artists. My great-grandmother, passed down a love for cooking. My grandma, mom and aunt will feed you till you can’t eat anymore, make you do jumping jacks then feed you some more. I never leave any of their houses without a bag full of extra food to take home.
They can also just about build or create anything. They all kind of have their areas that they specialize in. My great-aunt can build a dresser and chairs from scratch, my grandma can paint, sculpt, crochet, make jewelry, anything you name it and she can do it like no one’s business. My aunt can sew (although she doesn’t care to), crochet, build things, she’s now making soaps, etc, but she is just really good at coming up with creative ideas from nothing. My mom makes the sweetest scrap books, beautiful jewelry and suncatchers, but I, of course, think her chocolate chip cookies are the greatest masterpiece, but everything else she makes is delicious too.
I have many other crafty members but these are ones I’ve had the most contact with over the years.
Needless to say, I have had my share of handmade items. I always enjoyed them, even when I was younger, but not anywhere near as how much I love them now. Now, that I’ve made similar things, I can really appreciate how time and effort it takes. The hand made gifts are way more individualized and tailored specifically for what I like. Since I have become such an advocate for repurposing, my family goes to great lengths to give me repurposed gifts.
Although my mothering and feeding genes haven’t quite kicked in, I did get the crafting bug from them.
Although I loved crafting when I was kid, but I kind of lost it as I got older. But when I discovered upcycling and the consequences of conventional products or the over consumption of them. It set me on fire for a cause that involves a lot of crafting and handmaking skills, which my family gave me a strong foundation for. There are so many creative things we could do before getting a mass-produced thing from the store and so many things we could do instead of throwing things away.
Last year, my mom’s family decided to have a drone building contest. As you can imagine, it didn’t turn out too good for all of us, but it led to next year’s contest. A contest to see, who could make something for the homeless. Creativity, practicality and usefulness are all judging categories. These kinds of things just prove that it doesn’t take a lot of money to show someone love and compassion. Talk about love for the handmade and its application to solve real world problems!
I spent so much time trying to learn to crochet, but to no avail. I had given up and became disinterested, but then my grandma made my beautifully awesome bag, which lit the fire once again.
It’s made from plarn. Let me tell you, it uses a lot of plastic bags. Every year, Americans reportedly throw away 100 billion plastic grocery bags. The average American family takes home almost 1,500 plastic shopping bags a year. These bags are considered the American flag because they are found everywhere, wreaking havoc on plant and animal life. The local landfill pays a hefty fee to keep them cleaned up around the landfill. Of the bags that make it to the recycling programs, only 1 percent are recycled. They often clog the machine because they are so light weight.
This previous Christmas, my mom made a package for the homeless around her town. It was a ziplock filled with socks and snacks. Bags are extremely handy for homeless people to carry their stuff in, so it gave me the idea to make market bags from plarn. This is the pattern I am using, but I’m not getting the shape quite right, so I’ll be trying something else for the next round.
My plan is to make one a month (yes, I’m a ridiculously slow crocheter) and then give them away next Christmas. So far I’m on schedule with my misshaped bags!
I love sharing my love hand made things with everyone and I hope you found some value in this post. Check back in a few months, so see, if I’m still on schedule. Do you have any stories of handmade love in your life? What is your favorite handmade thing you’ve ever received and who did you get it from?
Happy Valentine’s Day! And you’re needing some extra love this weekend, stop by my friend’s blogs to see what they wrote about the subject: