Monday, 25 July 2011

For an excellent woman

Amazingly, my husband has taken the children out again, for the second day in a row. T'is the season to be picking people up from the airport it seems. So here I am again. Just uploaded some photos onto the computer and remembered I hadn't posted anything about this hoop I made for a friend's recent birthday.

The lovely Jo, who blogs, quite beautifully, here, adores tea, Brown Betty teapots, Cath Kidston gorgeousness and Barbara Pym novels (amongst other things obviously), so I thought I was on pretty safe ground when I found this ace quote from the Pym novel 'Excellent Women'. For good measure I used a piece of vintage fabric (she doesn't know this but it's actually from a little vintage stash that Jo bought me for my last birthday) and appliqued it onto the muslin in a Brown Betty-ish teapot style.

I'm really proud of this embroidery job. That's a lot of words to hand-sew and looking at it now I have to say, it is neater than I could have hoped for. I know she really loved it because she told me and later texted me and almost cried at one point and I'm really pleased because she is a true sweetheart who deserves more and any gift giver wants to feel that their gift is appreciated. Especially when you have spent many pleasant hours working on the gift and thinking fondly of the recipient.

That's what hand-made is all about isn't it? Taking time out to think about who you're making the thing for, or why you're making it, just caring really. I'm not sure if over the years all of the people I've made things for have really been that pleased. I'm sure some people would have rather had something, you know, normal, bought from a reputable high street establishment. But, well, I can't afford to do that and I've got myself into the situation where I won't actually let myself anymore. It's like I've let them and myself down dreadfully if I lower myself to spending actual money (beyond materials) on a gift.

Last Christmas I was doing a lot of handmade markets so I did actually buy some Christmas presents from other handmade craftsters just to take some of the pressure off myself and to give my poor family a change from felt corsages and owls. It was like getting myself a present really. I still made loads of edible treats and a tea cosy and a cushion and a poppy garland but buying hand-made presents gave me real pleasure. Especially as I was using money I'd earned from selling my own hand-made things. Oh, it's just like one big happy circle of love isn't it? Am I making you want to vom?

Well, there is a lot more to hand-made to tell the truth. Environmentally, ethically, politically...which brings me to this recent Folksy blog post by Tash Goswami. It is a serious bit of writing, championing hand-made on many levels, so please take five minutes to read it.

And afterwards feel free to stop off at my Folksy shop! Thank you.


  1. oh Jen that is breathtakingly beautiful and so very Jo. I'm not surprised she was so overcome - but your sensitive side is beginning to peep through on here - you'd better be careful!

  2. c'mon cer, i'm just trying to come off as nice in a cynical attempt to get followers. sensitive? moi?

  3. hope i've not gone an blown ya cover....

  4. Oh, I do love it - so, so much. Love the post too - didn't well up again on reading it, honestly!
    Jo x

  5. your post, your loop, your words, your thoughts ... just lovely ♥