Simple Joys and the Art of a Handmade Gift
original post on Craft Luxe
As a part time knitter-slash-jewelery maker I have always admired handmade goodies I see on sites like Etsy, Artfire and Dawanda. I am continually inspired by (and more than a little jealous of!) the amount of talented people out there. But really, how often do we really take the time to appreciate a handmade item? Sure maybe we’ve been to some craft fair at a local church/town/school, complete with gray folding tables and the sweet, super-smiley, over-lipsticked woman hawking red and green holiday crafts made out of pipe cleaners, pop-sickle sticks and curly ribbon (sorry grandma!) but let’s face it, crafts have come a long way. The art of DIY has become a viable business for true artists who can now sell their wares online with just a few clicks of a camera and a computer.
There are tons of crafty-types out there who don’t make things out of wire hangers, trash ties and glitter and isn’t it time to celebrate them as ARTISANS? If you’ve ever made something by hand and (GULP!) tried to sell it online, you are very much aware of the amount of time and energy it takes to continually come up with a new idea and then spend hours, days, weeks, making your idea come to life. You barely take a minute to enjoy the final accomplishment before you post it online, along with your ego, in the hopes that someone else will not only like it, but appreciate the amount of effort and time it took to create. It’s never about the money on a site like Etsy, it’s about sharing your creativity that matters to most sellers. Why else would you spend a month making something you only charge $20 for??
Those artsy/craftsy types are continually overlooked and definitely underpaid. Sure everyone would love a hand knit sweater but why pay $XXX when you can go to Old Navy? It’s the appreciation of owning or giving a one of a kind gift made by hand, that’s why. It’s the outpouring of someone’s creativity in physical form, that’s why. It’s worth more than the money you spend, that’s WHY. There’s something very special about a handmade item that stays with the item throughout its life. It’s the thought that this item was cared about while being created and that this care was transferred to the item and its new owner.
Talented people surround us! Take a look at this handmade paper wreath by Simple Joys Paperie on Etsy. It’s one of a kind and absolutely beautiful. This was not a 5 minute DIY project. It took creativity, it took time, it took love. It’s the perfect mix of modern and vintage with a double dash of “OMG, where did you find this?!?!” Go find that at some big box superstore.
You can almost feel the love and care on the designer’s Etsy page…
“This OOAK (one of a kind) Sepia Owl wreath is perfect for autumn or year round if you love owls and neutral colors! The colors are ivory, cream, sepia, black, and varied shades of robin’s egg blue. Book used: Webster’s Dictionary (c)1978. The center medallion features my original paper cut design. I use no patterns as I cut the images by hand. The owl is cut from parchment papers that I have aged, stained, and printed with copies of a late 1700s indentured servant letter. The background has been painted with watercolors. The medallion has been surrounded by a hand pleated, crepe paper ruffle. The back / base of the wreath is covered with pages from the book. This wreath is signed and dated on the back, as well as having the name and date of the book used. A wire hanger is attached to the base on the back. The black ribbon may be removed from the wire hanger if desired. These wreaths make great focal accessories for dorms or apartments, cottage, shabby chic, or vintage style decors. Hang them at a special event, hang one to add vintage charm to your autumn soiree ~ wherever you desire something unique! Why not choose the obvious? Hang one of these book wreaths in a library or study!
I don’t destroy perfectly good books as a rule, and use books that are falling apart, have pages missing, or are damaged in one way or another.”
Simple Joys Paperie also writes a blog, Honeysuckle Lane.
Cut by hand. Aged. Stained. Pleated… Painted… Do you need MORE? Talk about effort. Talk about talent. And this store is called Simple Joys! If you gave this wreath as a gift you are not going to hear, “Yea, what a coincidence, I almost bought this exact same wreath at Target last week but they didn’t have a green one. What are the odds?”
Not a chance. You’ll be seen as a thoughtful person who gives the nicest, one of a kind gifts. When was the last time you gave a gift like that?