Sunday, November 8, 2009

Handmade USA

Last year, I decided to take the Handmade Pledge because I did not want to spend a lot of money that would go to Corporate World. I don't believe that Corporate World does anything more than subvert our governments, enslave the people, and create a waste of resources. That's another blog-story, however.

Because I can crochet, I made dishtowels, dishcloths, and potholder sets for everyone on our gift list. I actually started in August, crocheting first the potholders and dishcloths. I don't sew or even know how to sew, so I enlisted my friend JoAnn to cut and hem up the kitchen towels. She sent them back to me and I crocheted the trimmings. The sets were pretty and practical and a hit with most people on our gift list. 

This year, I got the idea of using my plastic canvas skills to create coasters for all the families. However, between school, paper grading, and colony management, I haven't found the time to do everyone a set. With the holidays right around the corner, I decided to send baked goodies this year. I sent a few lucky people baked goodies last year and found out that it was a hit--especially for those who were too busy to do a lot of baking themselves. I'll save the plastic canvas works for next year--when I can work on the gifts all year round.

Now my husband and I haven't sent out holiday cards for a long time. Nonetheless, I wanted to send them out this year. And I didn't want to buy a box of cards--I wanted something special, unique--different. That sent me to Etsy to look for holiday cards. My oh my--did I ever find so many unique, cute, precious, artistic cards that were perfect for the holidays. 

But here's my other dilemma. Our card circle includes just about every flavor of holidaying. Ok--let me rephrase that. 

We have friends who are Jewish, Muslim, Wiccan, Christian, Catholic, Native American, and atheists. We have family members who celebrate a variety of holiday traditions, have different beliefs, follow different religions. I needed cards that respected everyone. I needed something that could fit into everyone's belief systems without offending anyone.  I found the perfect cards at 

These cards made me GIGGLE. That right there made it perfect. I will confess that I got lost in the store because I like the artwork. Before I realized it, I wanted this card and that card and they weren't holiday cards. I had to start over. D who has eclectic tastes in art had to help me choose. So we settled on a couple of designs first. We even found a card that really represented US. 

"Kitty Buddies" by Jennifer Lambien of Studio Petite

I've found some other wonderful card artists on Etsy as well. I will not be buying cards at a box store again. 

So my question are--do you do the holidays? Are you sending out cards? What are your favorite holiday traditions?


  1. What wonderful cards! We don't do much for the holidays. We try to get as many family members together as possible and enjoy laughter and a delicious meal. We do not exchange gifts and do not send cards unless my daughter makes them. She is talented that way.

  2. What adorable cards! I love snowmen.

    Probably the biggest tradition we have is breakfast at our house. After that, the grandkids that are here hunt for the "pickle" ornament on the tree. It hides very nicely since it's green. There's always a prize for the kid with the sharpest eyes. Now that we have teenage grandkids and younger ones too we split them up into 2 groups. Everyone not only wants the prize but the bragging rights for the rest of the year.

  3. I really love the holidays, but really hate the commercialism of the whole thing. I make my own cards and we are really cutting back on the gift buying this year. So many people are hurting financially that we talked to our (adult) kids and decided to set spending limits so everyone can just have fun and not feel stressed over buying presents. Our kids have their spouses families to spend time with as well, so we try to be very flexible so that doesn't ever become an issue. I have a tiny little house and the decorating requires taking things down in order to put other things up. Not even doing that this year. Going with the bare minimum. I love the tree and the lights and candles so we plan to keep it simple.

    We celebrate Thanksgiving on Friday so our kids can spend the entire day Thursday at their in-laws and then the entire day Friday with us.

    I love just chillin' out over Christmas. Our youngest comes in from Colorado and he's even bringing his girlfriend with him this year and his dog and her dog! Yikes!

    Our traditions have changed over the years as I kids became adults and married. For us it's all about family time and we cherish every moment.


  4. It seems as we get older, we do a little less for the holidays. Last year I didn't even put the tree up, this year I will force myself.
    I send very few cards out anymore, and I seem to get less each year.

  5. Kathy, you should read my post: Thinking about the holidays back in October. I also agree that the commercialism is just waaaaaaaaaaaayyy too much and gets worse every year. This year, I want to stay home for Christmas, enjoy my tree, watch the cats play with their stockings. We've traveled that last few holidays--it's our turn to stay home this year.

  6. I made my first homemade cards last year, I plan to do it again this year...though it nearly killed me! It is kind of fun!