When you can't make everything yourself (and who can?), it's nice to have sources of handmade items to purchase. I made profligate use of Etsy and other online crafter marketplaces this holiday season.
These deer in their forest and bears in their cave I actually bought for E and Z from Anne Moze last summer, in anticipation of that road trip that never came to pass. I envisioned them galloping wildlife over various National Park picnic tables. Instead they became stocking stuffers. So far, I think I've played with them more than anyone.
This beautiful bunting C got for me from Fresh Squeezed Baby. I was planning on making one for this big wall, but I knew I didn't have any time coming up, so instead I did a search on Etsy for "orange bunting" and came up with this and sent the link to C--perfect! In fact, like the fabrics so much, I've already favorited several fat quarter bundles and charm squares in the same family...thinking a quilt to toss over the back of that midnight blue velvet couch when I get it.
For my sister and sister-out-law, I bought lovely hand-painted silk scarves from JingJing Design.
And for E and Z, magic wands from Mud Hollow.
Z wrote no fewer than three letters to Santa saying, "I would like a wand that will do anything I want it to," the last on Christmas Eve because he was not entirely convinced that I had actually mailed the first two to the genial elf (for good reason--I hadn't). The last one I tucked into the pocket of my dad's red shirt--he has a white beard, so I figured it was as close to Santa as I was going to get.
When we got home, and found that Santa had arrived in our absence, Z knew right away exactly which box contained his wand, and when he opened it, a gleam in his eye indicated he truly believed it was going to work magic. Later he said to me, "I don't think Santa understood what I meant when I said I wanted a wand that would do anything I want."
I replied, "Maybe Santa's just not that magic, that he can give presents that don't exist. Or maybe you don't know the right spells."
So today, when I was walking him down the driveway after he got off the bus (he was alone...his brothers both sick at home), he said, "You know what I'm going to ask Santa for next year? A spell book to go with my wand."
Other handmade purchases (not pictured) include: wallets for E and Z (for 3 Kings Day), a space necktie for M, butterbeer fudge (which no one was nearly as excited about as I was...which meant more for me), boxers and boxers.
Hooray for handmades that someone else hand makes!