Tuesday, December 18, 2007

crafters are like snowflakes

Back in the olden days (when the boys were little and the funds were short) we used to decorate for the Holidays with home crafted paper crafts - construction paper chains, colorful origami boxes, Victorian pleated fans and angels, white paper snowflakes.
There is a big home craft movement growing again among the younger generation, probably a reaction to the sameness of all that cheap imported repetitive junk we see in the stores.
Witness the success of Etsy! I could spend hours looking at all the creativity there.
(On the same wavelength The New York Times Magazine ran a story about the craft movement and Etsy this past weekend. Heres a snippet:

Handmade 2.0
By Rob Walker
December 16, 2007

The declaration from something called the Handmade Consortium materialized on a Web site called buyhandmade.org in late October. “I pledge to buy handmade this holiday season, and request that others do the same for me,” it said, and you could type in your name to “sign” on; within a few weeks, more than 6,500 people had done so. “Buying handmade is better for people,” a statement on the site read in part, and “better for the environment,” because mass production is a “major cause” of global warming, among other things. There were links to an anti-sweatshop site and a Wal-Mart watchdog site.
The pledge echoed the idealistic language of a tree-hugger activist group, but actually the consortium’s most prominent member was the online shopping bazaar Etsy, a very much for-profit entity that bills itself as “your place to buy & sell all things handmade.” Etsy does not fulfill orders from an inventory; it’s a place where sellers set up virtual storefronts, giving the site a cut of sales. While eBay rose to prominence nearly a decade ago as an endless garage sale for the auctioning of collectibles and bric-a-brac, Etsy is more of an online craft fair, or art show, where the idea is that individuals can sell things that they have made. How many such people can there be? At last count, more than 70,000 — about 90 percent of whom were women — were using Etsy to peddle their jewelry, art, toys, clothes, dishware, stationery, zines and a variety of objects from the mundane to the highly idiosyncratic. Each seller has a profile page telling shoppers a bit about themselves, and maybe offering a link to a blog or a MySpace page or a mailing list; most have devised some clever store or brand name for whatever they’re selling.
Read on here...

Like I was going to say, no two home crafters are alike, just like snowflakes. Think of two crafters, using the same ingredients and the same techniques... their hand crafted goods are still individual, they still reflect something from the personality of their creator.
There is value in making things, keeping the eye interested and the mind working. Some is art, some is not, but handcrafts speak for the individual, the unusual, the unique. The human.
Which leads to thinking about ... snowflakes...Snowflakes!
I found this site yesterday, http://snowflakes.lookandfeel.com and made the snowflake at the top of this post. It's free, it's fun! Click the link and Try it! (I fixed the link, sorry!)

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