Facet #8 – Embrace and Enjoy the Handmade Life

embrace and enjoy the handmade life

To me, there is nothing better than to embrace and enjoy the handmade life. I love to create with my hands. I write. I cook. I bake. And I have a craft room that is so full, if I buy anything else, I am going to have to live in the coop with the chickens just to make room for it all.

Creating handmade items is more than just working with your hands. It is also a cerebral exercise. If I see something I like and want to make, I first study the item to see how it is made. If it is a knitted item, I look to see if it is something that can be crocheted, woven or made with fabric.

I look at the size, shape, colors. I determine its use. Seams are studied, patterns are considered, and mental measurements are made. Once all of that has been processed, I then either go in search of a pattern, or draw one myself.

If it is food, the same process happens, just in a different way. I look to see what it is, and determine the main ingredients. I then sample, and taste for herbs, spices and other seasonings. I see the texture with my eyes, and feel it with my mouth.

Why you should Embrace and Enjoy the Handmade Life

There are so many reasons why you should embrace and enjoy the handmade life. But for this post, I am going to highlight the main ones.

embrace and enjoy the handmade life

One of A Kind

Ten people can sit in a circle and knit granny squares. Although all of them may be similar, they are all still going to be unique to the one who made them. Colors will be different. Gauges tighter or looser. The size will be slightly different. And then you always have that one person who changes the pattern up altogether.

Each of you have learned the art of how to embrace and enjoy the handmade life. And with that comes the unique expressions of each person’s personality. You not only find 10 different dishcloths, but may also learn a whole new way of creating yours.

The way YOU make something is going to be completely different than the way someone else does. And if you are comparing your handmade items to store-bought – don’t. Items from the stores are now mass manufactured, and it seems as if the materials used are cheaply made.

Yours will be made with quality supplies, and turn out so much better. Plus – not everyone else will have it. Instead, your handmade items will be made by you, in the medium you choose, with the colors that work best.

embrace and enjoy the handmade life

Mental Health

When you embrace and enjoy the handmade life, you not only ‘do the math’, but you also benefit the emotional side of your brain. Crafting, regardless of the medium, helps to reduce stress, depression and other mental health.

It also creates a feeling of well-being and a stronger sense of self. Both of these help you to have a deeper feeling of inner peace.

embrace and enjoy the handmade life

Did you know that studies have shown cooking may be able to help with grief? This study is based on the aspect of grief that comes with routine meal planning, shopping and cooking for others. It helps resolve a small part of the grief by learning how to do all these things for one person.

This alone is one of the best reasons to embrace and enjoy the handmade life. It calms me, helps me to focus, and ends up lifting my heart and spirit on those hard to deal with days.

embrace and enjoy the handmade life

Necessity

I don’t know about you, but I have often found something I would like to try to do, but either there is no source for the equipment, or what is available is cost prohibitive.

As a weaver, I can’t tell you how many times I have searched for a way to build a loom or weaving supplies, or repurpose something else to use as a loom. Currently, I found something I wanted to try to make, but couldn’t’ find a loom the right size. So, with a piece of sturdy cardboard, a crafting knife and a ruler, I made my own. And it works perfectly!

Instead of purchasing kitchen items, such as pot scrubbers and dishcloths, I usually scrounge around in my craft room. Thanks to other people who love to ‘donate’ things they no longer need or use, I have a stash of yarn, toile and muslin (both bleached and unbleached) that I can use to make my own.

The muslin is cut in pieces large enough to make dish towels, and with a bit of embroidery, I can make them as festive and decorative as I want (and I get to choose my own design!). With strips of toile, I can have pot scrubbers made in less than an hour, and with cotton yarn, I can keep my hands busy in the evening while watching tv or visiting with the Country Boy by knitting dish cloths.

My Christmas giving list is usually created in January. For the remainder of the year, I work on gifts as time allows. Usually, by the first of November, I have all but the baking gifts done, and can settle back to fully enjoy the holiday season. It also saves me time, gasoline and money by making my gifts instead of trying to hunt down that ‘one perfect gift’.  And in my opinion, those don’t exist in stores anymore. Instead, they are sitting in my craft room, just waiting to be created.

When I embrace and enjoy the handmade life, I find that the opportunites to find fun, unique and wonderful handmade gifts are almost unlimited!

embrace and enjoy the handmade life

The Designer’s Touch

I am one of ‘those’ who can never find exactly what I want when it comes to home decor. I celebrate the fact I am willing to embrace and enjoy the handmade life because I can customize the exact look I am going for.

When I was trying to redo a bedroom, to get exactly what I wanted I knew I would have to make it. So I found fabric, pulled out my sewing machine, and got busy.

Because of my skills, I was able to make a box-pleat dust ruffle, two European-sized shams, and two standard shams in sizes to fit what I needed.

Because I wanted an extra layer, I found a crocheted tablecloth in my closet. When I layered it on top of the bed (I used a solid sheet underneath for contrast), I had the look and feel that I wanted. There wasn’t a single piece that I could have stepped into a store to buy, and if I had it special ordered, it would have cost a fortune.

When you embrace and enjoy the handmade life, the only limitations you have to your decor is your imagination. And the more you work with your hands, the broader and deeper your imagination will grow!

Are you Ready to Embrace and Enjoy the Handmade Life?

Then let me get you started. This is a list of posts for items you can create yourself. Most of them are simple projects that don’t take a lot of time. Some do take a bit more effort. But all of them will help you to embrace and enjoy the handmade life even more than before!

Psalms 91 Throw

Knitted Dish Cloth

Crochet Pot Scrubbers

A Handmade Home

Create a Barn Quilt

Purse-size Sewing Kits

Quilted Gift Tags

Create a Craft Kit

The Simplicity of Soap

The Crafters Go Bag

Wooden Spoon Butter

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Hats & Scarves

Handcrafts – The Universal Language

The Lost Art of Handcrafts

Looking for more Facets of a Homemaker?

Here are all the previous posts! Be sure to comment on each one and let me know what you think!

8 Facets of Homemaking

Facet #1 – Clean your Home

Facet # 2 – Planning Meals

Facet #3 – The User Friendly Kitchen

Facet #4 – Finances and Frugal Living

Facet # 5 – Gardening

Facet # 6 – 7 Smart Reasons to Can Your Own Food

Facet # 7 – Home Repairs & General Maintenance

Julie Murphree is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and speaker on all things ‘Living a Simple Life on the Farm’. She is the author of \\\'The Farm Wife – Living a Simple Life on the Farm. She and her husband have 60 acres in NW Louisiana where they actively work on living as sustainable as possible.

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