Well before 1776, women and girls delighted in decorating the everyday objects they used in their living and working space. Their work reflected the spirit of the times. Utility came first, beauty followed.
Samplers were not only for decoration; they were used to teach children reading, writing and arithmetic. Sewing was no hobby in those early days but a necessity. All the clothes had to be made at home. Mothers and grandmothers made quilts and rugs to keep themselves warm with no inkling they were creating art.
Men and women have always been artisans, using whatever materials they had at hand; metal and wood, tin and pewter, rags and bones, clay and scraps of cloth. Neither fancy nor frivolous, their work is filled with the exuberance of experimentation. It may be described as naive, but its very innocence is the essence of its charm. Small wonder, then, that these many objects, these heirlooms, have endured and become part of our heritage.
This tradition continues today. A new handmade gift is cherished every bit as much as an heirloom. Like the work of those who came before us, we can get by with little or no formal training.
The important thing is to continue to create our own unique gifts to share with those who will appreciate them.
To express your love for a friend, you could give a basket of heirloom tomatoes or a collection of your favorite recipes tied with a bow (or a bottle of nicely crafted bottle of gin!).
ICDT! (I Can Do That!)