Sunday, February 22, 2015

Handmade / Home Crafted

While I have my share of manufactured items, I tend to prefer handmade/homemade "stuff". Why? Not because it's better quality .... sometimes it is, sometimes it's not. No, it's because it often creates a connection with my community at some level. It's an interaction that use to exist all the time when I was a small child, but rapidly died out as my parents and relatives became proud of having store bought. 

I grew up learning that Aunt Teenie made my new Easter hats, Cousin Reds made the birch beer soda I was lucky to drink during the summertime, the winter gloves & scarves I wore were often made for me by cousin Pat. Grandpop made our holiday noisemakers. (I still have that New Years noisemaker he made for me and cherish it.) Homemade jams and pickles often came from Aunt Mary. It was not uncommon for neighbors to bring homemade cookies. 

Somewhere along the line we started looking down our noses at this handcrafted stuff. I was too young to realize what was going on. But the old wooden handmade kitchen table went to the dump, replaced by the modern chrome & formica one. Old handcrafted furniture went the same route. The handmade clothing eventually stopped. Store bought Christmas cards replaced our homemade ones. Homemade soda, pickles, sauces got replaced by store bought. My parents even started buying bread and cookies from the stores, stopping the steady arrival of Mom's and Aunt Ruby's incredibly light breads and biscuits. Campbell's soup replaced homemade soups. Many a homemade holiday ornament went bye-bye. Egads, we even got a silver artificial Christmas tree that was my parents' pride and joy.

Store bought items bring no feeling of connection. Connect to Sears? Woolworths? When I looked at that silver Christmas tree did I have warm fuzzy feelings about the store it came from? Hardly! 

But every time I put on my new Easter hat, I could feel and picture Aunt Teenie. Drinking homemade soda I couldn't fail but think of Cousin Reds. It's the connection. It was a constant reminder that I was part of a big family of relatives and friends. 

To this day I appreciate home crafted items, be they jams, soaps, kitchen gadgets, etc. Every time I use or see one of these items I can't help but think of the person to made it. It just reinforces my connection to my ohana (extended family) and community. 

So all this jabbering brings me to my photo for the day........
These are hats made by a good friend. And you know, I love them! Not because they are better, not because they are colorful, not because they are warm. It's because they were made by a friend. They are useful, so I often grab one to wear when needed. And ya know, each and every time I can't help but smile, thinking about my friend. Yes, homemade & handcrafted gives me that warm fuzzy feeling. 


  1. Amen!
    I could not have said this any better...

  2. Sonia, I've seen so many people move here and then leave, giving as one of their reasons the fact that they have no connection here. No family. Well, there is much more to family than blood. I have no DNA relatives here, but plenty of family. Buying from stores and online does nothing the create an ohana.