Simple Handmade Touches

Living a handmade life doesn’t mean having to work craft baazars every weekend, bake your own bread, or sew all your own clothes. (Although if you enjoy that kind of thing, have at it!) But if you’re like me and hate long-term projects, then the one-hour or one-afternoon crafting experiences bring a great deal of satisfaction. Just looking at my little potted aloe that my mom brought up from her yard brings me great delight, probably as much as sleeping under a quilt I’d slaved years over (actually, it probably brings more delight because I’d worry about ruining the quilt and have no fear for the aloe).

Having a little handwork nearby is fun too. As long as it can stash out of sight quickly!

I marvel at the talent of other people (my husband’s extremely neat origami, for example).

And in the end, I’m glad to have a little something to work on that, preferably starting from materials that would have gone in the trash anyway (that way I can’t really end up ruining it, right?) One project that turned out great were these little votives, made from old guidebook pages with all the windows and doors cut out with an x-acto knife, so that the candlelight shines through.

Canning is something that I’ve recently been getting into, although only when I get some surplus of friends’ gardens or other such free bounty. Then it makes it work putting the time into. It does awaken the pioneer spirit within me, though! And that feels good.

So really, making do with what you have can bring much enjoyment as your creativity is able to flow. That is the essence of the handmade life.


Writing with a drop of gold that flows in a tiny trickle out of my funnel pen . . . there’s just nothing like it. It’s so art-like and ancient-feeling. The horrible smell of the gold medium is about the only unromantic thing about doing goldwork. Here is some recent work.