When I was little, I designed “thank you” and birthday cards and wrote “ARTMART” on the back of each card. Now, I still design cards, but mine now have “The Free Range Artisan” on the back.
Not only do I enjoy designing cards, I really like to use them for correspondence. Apparently, this runs in the family. My mom told me of a time she toured England, and my grandpa made sure a postcard was waiting for her at her every stop. Grandpa died when I was quite young, so the thought that we both share the practice of writing as a way to show care and support makes me feel as if he is still very present in my life.
I prefer snail mail over the more speedy modes of communication. Whenever I learn that someone is going through a difficult time, or if there is something to celebrate, my first thought it to be sure to send a card. To me, it’s a physical reminder that they are special enough to me that I want to take the time to sit, think, and prepare something for them. Sometimes this means that many of my mornings or evenings are spent writing. In a way, it’s a form of meditation in that it’s a time to pause and to be sure that time is devoted to something that truly is meaningful – reaching out to people and letting them know that they are in my thoughts.
It also reminds me of what’s important in life, at least what I think is important in life. My relationships have been ongoing sources of comfort and learning, and taking the time to write friends who are geographically far away provides the opportunity to nourish our relationship so that we can still feel close.
My polymer clay creations began as an effort to send my youngest sister something little and fun when she lived in England. One of my favorite little things to make now are my owls, who always make me smile, and I love it when they make other people smile. After the summer market, I hope to focus on making more owls and other funny creatures for my Etsy shop. I really like the idea of being a part of brightening someone’s day.
I also like to make moons to send as peaceful wishes:
Trees for strength:
And raindrops for new beginnings:
I’m excited about this Saturday, because I used ribbon necklaces for my polymer clay pendants. I’ll have a rainbow of colors at my table!
Obviously, this entry is meant to encourage you to visit my Etsy shop and to explain why I do what I do:
But it’s also celebration of hands! Pieces written and made by hand can be rare things to receive, and I think more hands on interactions would make this world a more beautiful place.
Keeping the Hands in Handmade,
Free Range Al