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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Day 7 - Make and Buy Handmade

I have always grown up making gifts for friends and family, even when being crafty wasn't so 'in.' These days, we can read articles even in the New York Times about making handmade gifts, to mark how far we've come, i guess. A couple of years ago, there was even a discussion on CBC radio about the idea of making gifts vs buying, though times were a bit different then - someone had the audacity to say that making gifts is cheap and insensitive to those that can't return them to a store to get something 'better.' Grrrr to that. I'm much happier living in a world that's crafter-friendly.

I love making gifts and spending time to think of exactly what the recipient might want, and how to make it. I go through my supply of craft books and blogs to look up ideas as early as September. I have a notebook filled with craft ideas that i regularly check over. My dining room table turns into crafter central until oh about Christmas Eve. Good fun, i promise!

This year, i vowed to Buy Handmade and it's been a great challenge. I've also vowed to make gifts for everyone, but also to cut down on gifts - my little change purse is stretched thin these days! It may be too close to buy things on-line now due to mail travel (especially from the States) , but sources like Etsy or Poppytalk Handmade, let alone some great blogger stores, and the onslaught of crafter fairs are great places to go. Other great stores in Toronto include MADE, Fresh Collective, Nathelie-Roze, and my favourite hat maker Wildhagen, whose bird hat i wear is a great conversation starter!

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5 Comments:

Blogger krissy said...

i took the "handmade pledge" this year...promised to buy only handmade gifts. so far i've done really well: people on my list are getting goodies from candi factory, yasmine louis, buttercup days and another local screenprinter whose shirt i bought at nathalie-roze's shop. so far everything i've bought has been local and handmade! i'm just having a hard time of thinking of something to buy my dad & his partner...i think i might have to break down and buy something made elsewhere/factory-made. but i think it will be from "grassroots", so at least i won't feel too guilty about making a little exception to my "handmade pledge". i sure wish i'd had more time to make stuff though... i'm jealous of your ambition to start planning in september! good for you!

10:19 PM  
Anonymous Ziggy said...

I do appreciate handmade products for myself and often make purchases on Etsy and have been doing so for 3 years now. That being said - when it comes to friends and family - I buy gifts from shops that offer a gift receipt or a refund/return option because i am being considerate to others. I understand that not everybody likes or appreciates hand made gifts and although for some 'crafty' people it is a cheaper option, it is not always appreciated by the recipient.
I know that your heart and mind is in the right place but society and the way they think, cannot be changed. Some people have a tendency to think that handmade gifts are reminiscent of summer camp crafts consisting of popsicle sticks with glue.

10:32 PM  
Blogger jen said...

if people are so ungracious to think negatively of gifts that a lot of time and thought went into, that is very rude and unfortunate, but that is their problem. not the gift-giver's.

i also refuse to believe that the "status quo" of society is so rude and ungracious. the socially acceptable attitude towards gifts is as follows: a gracious and decent person appreciates and shows appreciation for gifts in the spirit in which they are given -- regardless of value, matters of personal taste, and the like. period, the end. no ifs, ands, or butts.

on a more positive note (and this may be of use to krissy) i have an idea for a "handmade" gift that others might not have considered -- for christmas, i am getting my BIL a growler of fresh beer from a local brewery that is not close to his home, beer that is not available in bottles or cans and therefore unavailable to him without traveling. clearly the real gift is the effort to bring him the beer, but note that this type of locally brewed, not-available-in-bottles beer is, in a way, "handmade." even though machines are used to brew it, really no more so than we'd use sewing machines to sew a dress.

8:57 AM  
Blogger krissy said...

thanks for the idea, jen! i *love* the idea of the micro-brewed beer...i'll bet your brother will love it!

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Ziggy said...

Jen - I believe that it is naive to think that everyone will like what you make. Family and close friends are always supportive but not always truthful about their feelings. I'm speaking from experience and my theory is why spend valuable time and effort making something that will end up in the bottom of sock drawer or donated to a thrift shop somewhere down the road. If I know that my niece or cousin or good friend would rather have an item from a particular store in the mall then I will get them that item as opposed to making something similar myself...if I can afford it - of course.
Now - as for myself - totally! - I would rather buy local and handmade and cruelty-free and fair trade and organic, etc, etc...but just because something is good for me does not make it good for others.

7:08 PM  

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