As I’ve mentioned before, The Handmade Forum is a group of crafters from around the world who have banded together to share advice, bit of promotion, and sometimes just bond over both the good and bad of doing handmade things in a world that seems to value them less.
For January the formidable Katie suggested we create treasuries for the new year, showcasing the makers from the forum.
I liked the idea. Every time I create a treasury, I get a better feel for these shops, and because of the way I approach making a treasury, the process is always an interesting mental exercise.
January for me feels like a month of scut, tedium, paperwork, minutiae, and all the tasks that make you want to give up on being a grown-up. Closing out a year of paperwork, starting a new one, double checking inventories, figuring out things like how to go about the inevitable spring cleaning, taxes… as Mister Tea put it, “January is the Monday of months. Or maybe the month that is just a series of Mondays.”
So, as one of the first items I saw when perusing the shops of ‘The Handmade Forum’ for the treasury involved a gleeful memory and a smile, I decided to build a treasury of those sorts of things.
I assume, of course, that this chap was inspired by the archetype he represents, or by someone she personally knows, rather than what he reminds me of.
However, back in the day in Santa Fe, I met a bloke near the Plaza who had a guitar, and shared a number of other traits with this doll. We had a long rambling conversation about everything from music to religion to tolerance to… It was a pleasant couple hours that randomly disappeared in a puff of companionship.
Doesn’t matter what time of year I see them, or what kind of day I am having, butterflies evoke a number of different very happy memories. There is something amazing about the beauty of their structure, and I’ve seen a living butterfly’s wings up close, without having to damage it.
Additionally, butterflies are connected to one of my very good friends, so they also make me think of her.
Thus, these earrings fall into an unusual category for me. They are something I would actually wear (rare, for me, with jewellery) – and something I could also gift.
To start, I love her shop name. Given the number of different things I’ve crafted or fiddled with, from words to notes to teas to things of yarn and beads… I understand creation through insomnia, or creation provoking insomnia, or… And, despite what Mister Tea says, I do actually sleep. Well… I at least attempt to from time to time.
As far as the chosen object itself, there were a number of reasons it perked up the bits of my brain that have been feeling doldrum-y of late.
For one, it is a recycled thing. We like recycled things. We repurpose a variety of things ourselves, and try to keep all things attached to our shop as eco-friendly as possible. I have more than a mild fascination with shops that reuse/repurpose/recycle/remake/reshape and generally give old things new life.
On top of that, it combines vinyl and a clock! These are two things that Mister Tea and I collect, so the combination of the two is a happiness.
As you know, if you follow our shop or our posts at all, Mister Tea and I are geeks. And one of our geekdoms is Doctor Who.
It is a show that has always portrayed a universe of both whimsy and depth, running the entire spectrum in the emotions that it can provoke.
And there is always wonder within the tales.
He only has a few paintings listed, but his other work is quite neat, as well.
May seem a strange thing, given my current occupation and that it might be assumed I would have always had more in common with the doll that was the first offering in this post… but there was a time in my life when I flirted with being a goth.
I had almost always worn a lot of black, had an affection for some of the other accoutrements, and liked leather and fishnets. (Fishnets are great for adding texture to hold the layering together when you need to not have the holes in your various layers line up and let in the cold.)
In the end, being a ‘proper goth girl’ ended up being entirely too much work, and seemed to involve wearing the kind of heels I find uncomfortable and impractical. So I drifted back into my weird conglomeration of aesthetics. I do, however, have a number of good memories of the time, and met some people I still cherish through different aspects of the subculture.
Continuing the theme of connections and happy thoughts about people I know and care about, we move to my selection from Quinny’s Crochet.
This sock monkey bag made me giggle.
Our god-daughter had a thing for sock monkey for a while. It actually informed our choice of the coasters we picked up to have around so there would always be a coaster that was ‘hers’ for when she visited.
I also have a bag of yarn somewhere for a project that hits the same liking. (Not a bag, but….)
The reason for this is pretty succinct, and perfect for the theme and intention of the treasury.
When I saw the picture of this necklace, my inner child cried “Squiggles!” and wandered off giggling into the depths of my brain somewhere.
I love that this can provoke that level of whimsy and also embody the level of craftsmanship and work that this piece entailed.
There were several reasons for this choice.
The first one was that the gent modeling the ear cuff reminded me a bit of a very dear soul who passed on recently. He was an amazing man, and the good memories of him stack up so high and so swiftly that being reminded of him always makes me smile, even if it is a touch bittersweet.
The words on the cuff shown bring in the whimsical note. I don’t think Mister Tea would wear this himself, but there are times when he certainly wouldn’t mind a way to wear the sentiment. (Same with our puppies, though, of course, no ear cuffs for puppies.)
Lastly, I really like the concept behind a lot of her customized wire work. Names or particular sentiments or things that are particularly yours or meaningful – the option for this is a Good Thing.
It made me think of ‘The Hero of Canton.’ As an added bonus, it is knit with blues and purples and contrast and…. Tassles!
Need I say more?
For reasons I cannot entirely put my finger on, I saw these and immediately thought of ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ When I first read the book, I wanted to wander that world. Danger, oddities, impossibilities… all of it.
Going back to old memories and connections to Santa Fe….
During my time working as part of a liaison company (making a connection between doctors and pharmaceutical companies) – I met this fascinating graphic designer.
She did all the design work for the company I worked for, from logos to brochures, and she was A Character. She filled every room she was in with a bright strong personality, and with the rainbow of colours she wore. She also liked strong shapes to go with the array of colours. I saw these and thought of her, and of her designs.
I like things that make music start in my head. Even when it is the song that plays in tandem with one of the creepiest sequences in any Disney movie I have ever seen. (Dumbo. Pink Elephants. Enough said.)
I am fairly well in awe of her work. I have done some crazy quilting, here and there, and helped my grandmother with a couple of full quilts… but haven’t quite been brave enough to try to do it myself, as yet.
Where’s the fun in this one? – you might ask.
Well, on the one hand I can point you to the style of bracelet. These are called ‘friendship bracelets,’ meant to be something that you can wear through all the wear and tear of life to remind you of a particular relationship.
However, there is even more meaning to this one for me. My left eye doesn’t really see colour. I have a genetic abnormality that means the sight in that eye is fair close to black and white. This has complicated my interactions with colour for a long time. It was particularly funny when I was younger, before I found out that I actually saw the world in a sizeably different way than most people. Pastels were, and still are, the hardest colour set for me to distinguish between, if I’m looking with both eyes. You can probably imagine the eye-rending horror of some of the Easter clothes I would quite innocently put together, thinking they matched perfectly. The colours in this particular bracelet are in a set of tones that are “eye comfy” for me.
The thing is that it is the differences in how we see the world, whether it be from a strictly physical problem, like my left eye; or the more complicated differences brought about by our life experiences that bring about some of the beauty in our relationships, in our learning, and in our crafts.
Sometimes it is actually your flaws, or things that can be perceived as flaws, that inspire or inform your best creations. My left eye makes me a more than decent black and white photographer, and if you know anything about Carroll or Poe or a number of other ‘greats’ that I could mention…
So, this has been the rambling rationale behind my treasury “Whimsy and Borogroves.” I hope there was a smile or two for you during it.
The other participants created these: