Saturday, 14 May 2011

Something for the weekend: handmade happy

I would like to introduce you to some very dear, old friends of mine, but first, I want to extol the virtues of the handmade, and in doing so I am in the most august company.

As you troop out to the shops this weekend, I am sure that many of you will be off to buy birthday cards for your near and dear ones. How about making this weekend a handmade happy one, and instead of buying something mass-produced from a retail giant (they don't need your custom, and would you really miss them if they weren't there?), why not buy a work of art by choosing a handmade card?

If you buy a handmade card, you are buying something original and different, and the card becomes a special present, rather than an expensive waste of trees. No longer is it a throwing away of resources on an ephemeral product from a factory, but you are buying a little piece of art to keep, and something that will give your recipient pleasure; you will also be supporting an individual trying to earn a living on a small, creative scale.

'Where do I start?' you may ask, 'It is so easy to follow the taste of Mr Smith's buyer, and grab one off the shelf in the high street.'

Well, dear readers, I will make it easy for you and share the whereabouts of some distinctive and original handmade cards. I have just bought a couple of beautiful cards from Cathy at One Pink Goose (you can find her Etsy shop here), and a most lovely print. The picture above is of The Woman Who Planted Trees - I am sure I love it because she has long dark hair, a big woolly cardi, and gloves on - now who could that be?

Julia at Lineanongrata does the most wonderfully off the wall illustrations: you can tell how deeply I love the benevolent knitting sheep in that I have kept this postcard to myself, as I find myself unable to release it into the hands of a non-knitter ...

Benevolent knitting sheep from Lineanongrata

And Milly at Drawings from Nature does just that, drawings of objects from nature - this is the most beautiful set of cards in a gift folder, and even the folder has an exquisite illustration.

Cards by Milly at Drawings from Nature

The cards are special enough to frame, and the set would make the most lovely present; I haven't given mine away, because I treasure them so much.

Cards in nifty gift folder

My newest discovery is Mrs Eliot Books: Francesca not only sells cards from her prints, but the most tempting little miniature books. Her latest cards, which you will also find on her blog here, feature furniture of a 1960s vintage, just like I had in my dolls' house, and a Dala horse - again rather like mine. Did she visit my dolls' house when I was not looking?

A teeny tiny horse

This little horse used to sit on the sideboard in the dolls' house, but now resides on a blue and white china plate with a rather large Scottie dog (relatively speaking) and a very small white one, who as you will see has a habit of barking aggressively at other animals.

Creatures of memory and circumstance

I am hoping one day to wake up and find a rather larger furry Scottie dog waiting on my doorstep and asking to be adopted, as I still miss my little black friend from days of yore. Or even a full-size Dala horse to go a-galloping on over hill and dale, but these fair fancies are such stuff as dreams are made on, and I must remove myself back into the harsh realities of food and farming on a very small scale.

But I might just sneak a couple of hours with this book, which arrived in the post this morning, and is calling to me eagerly from the sofa ....


Fading Grace said...

Hi there, thank you for your kind comment on my blog. Hand made cards are so much nicer to receive, I'm looking forward to browsing the links. I really liked your homemade phone case in your last post, it made me laugh as I just bought some lovely vintage kitten fabric and was going to make a phone case,,, kids were NOOOO!!! you can't! I will anyway.... tee hee xx

silverpebble said...

What an excellent post. I'm evangelical about the handmade movement (well, I suppose I would be) and it's wonderful to see some new artists mentioned here. I have some of Cathy's cards and they're ethereal and beautiful. Milly's cards are truly exquisite too.

I could hardly believe it when I heard this week that I'm part of ukhandmade's current summer showcase. It was such a great honour that I danced around.

I am envious of your little horse. I can see him hopping on a barge and wending his way jauntily round the canals of England. Perhaps it is his lovely painterliness.

Storycloth said...

Yes yes yes! A great reminder not only about the handmade - but cards in general- how lovely it is to receive a card, a gentle encouragement, exultation of a moment. I'll follow up these links in due course. Enjoy the knitting read. Gilly

KC'sCourt! said...

I love receiving handmade cards and I give them too.
All the cards I receive, unless I want to keep or or two for keepsakes I give to a friend who with her friends recycle the bought cards into handmade cards for local church funds. And very good they are too, because I have even recived some of those too, and guess what the ones I receive get recycled again!!!!
Julie xxxxx

Caroline Lovis said...

Yes I agree, handmade just offers a uniqueness which is quite simply not found in mainstream shops. I too make all my own cards and gift wrap, it's just nice to make something just so personal for someone. Enjoy your read. Caroline

Arianwen said...

I have just bought cards for my twins and for my friend. I feel really guilty now. But, I just don't really like making cards. The handmade ones you have bought are lovely esp like the lady with the tree. Could be me too;)

Jooles said...

Here here! hand made cards are the way to go and are ALWAYS so much nicer
enjoy your book :o)
j x

Little Blue Mouse said...

The little white dog must be so tiny if the horse stood on a doll's house sideboard!

I've nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award; you can read about it on my blog.

Frances said...

This is a generous posting, encouraging folks to seek out special cards and perhaps to even make their own.

I now make all my own cards, usually via watercolor, or a combination of watercolor and rubber stamping.

Milly's cards and all of her drawings and paintings are marvelous. Milly is one of the folks who first encouraged me to enter into the world of blogging.

Let me curtail this ramble by encouraging all of you to either explore the possibilities of making your own cards, or seeking out some beautiful cards made by folks mentioned above.


Rowan said...

Handmade things are lovely aren't they? I especially like the Draings From Nature cards. I also like the lokk of that book! It may well be finding its way into my Amazon basket:) As for Scotties - I've had two in my life and would love another one, they are great characters.

...Miss...Maddie's... said...

Handmade speaks from the heart.
Over a rainy weekend there are lots of handmade goodies to make and to take a peek at...
Susan x

melanie said...

Such a lovely post, I love hand made things :) xxx

Felicity said...

that book arrived on my door step too, its so pretty i want to knit everything in it! fliss xxx

harmony and rosie said...

I completely agree, there is nothing nicer than receiving a handmade card and giving too, although I'm like you and tend to keep them! Thanks for all those links. I'll also be keen to hear your thoughts on JB's latest book, I haven't managed to see a copy yet so am not prepared to press 'proceed to checkout' just yet!

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more, I am always thrilled to receive a handmade card, it's exactly as you say, they are a work of art to keep and treasure. I have some of Milly's cards which I framed and I love them. Hope you have had a good read!

eight by six said...

Hi I came across your Blog today whilst searching for a Rowan knitting pattern! I'm all with you on home-made hand-made presents, touble is most people (who don't craft) do not appreciate the work that goes into each gift/card. thanks for popping by my blog. Amanda

Anna at the Doll House said...

Hello Pamona

I am so pleased to have found your lovely blog.

A greeting card says so much about the sender: whether it is in support of a charity, humorous, art-lover, high-street or hand-made. I have to admit that my favorite cards are home-made: there's real love in them.

As for your little horse: I have been to Dalarna in Sweden and visited the workshop where these horses are hand-made and decorated. They also have a life-sized horse. However, while you could sit on it, it would not gallop away.


Francesca said...

yes i peeked into your dollshouse the other night and stole all your furniture to draw! thanks so much for the mention on your lovely blog. so nice when something i design strikes a personal chord. francesca x

MILLY said...

It was lovely to see you back posting and also find your comment.
Thank you for your kind words and support. It is nice to be appreciated and read that others are enjoying my drawings and my blog.

Cathy said...

Hi Pomona, thanks so much for the lovely comment about my cards and print. I didn't realise you were thinking the card resembled you..haha. It is a lovely thought though. Following the other handmade links now.


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