Thursday, February 3, 2011

Handmade with Love: support local craftspeople!

As my husband and I are trying to avoid buying things made in China whenever possible (and it's becoming harder and harder but we are doing our best!!) we are discovering a universe of people, mostly stay-home moms, who love to use their artistic talents to make personalized and one-of-a-kind gifts. These gifts might be more expensive than what you find in the stores, but they are so much better and much more beautiful than any mass produced item that is sold all over America (and the world). It's absolutely worth it! We are happy to spend some extra money, get a wonderful gift, and support an individual family. In this way, we allow mothers to make some money while staying home with their children, something that in our society today seems very hard to do because one income is often not enough.

My husband and I were looking for a special gift for our goddaughter's first birthday and I thought about a friend of mine from college, a stay-home mother of two who paints, sews, and does many other wonderful crafts. We ended up commissioning her an icon of our goddaughter's patron saint. It was the best gift ever! You can see this and other works on her blog "Santi Amici" (Saints friends).

Another crafts-mother I recently got to know and appreciate makes the cutest girls' dresses from adult t-shirts bought at thrift stores. You can see some of her creations at Kristi Bee.

I suggest that you look around, ask your friends, and do some internet searches and see what people around you (or faraway as my friend in Italy) are doing, you will be surprised! Please support local craftspeople and their families!

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