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 ....