Shop Handmade for the Holidays to Avoid Being Pepper Sprayed

I already planned to do most of my holiday shopping online within the handmade community. After learning about shoppers while waiting in line who were pepper sprayed on Black Friday I am convinced that shopping online this year is simply brainier!

I spent yesterday with my 88 yr old Mother. She is one of my favorite people in the ENTIRE world and I am lucky to still be able to wrap my arms around her.  Up until last year mother crocheted nearly every day. She’s made doilies, placemats, Christmas ornaments, table clothes, bed covers, table runners; crocheted edging on pillow cases, dish and guest towels and given away nearly every creation. Luckily I have been the recipient of some of the table runners, a bedspread and several doilies that I treasure. Of course with the demise of Vano Starch, (Sta-Flo is a close second) they don’t quite “do up” as nicely as when she gave them to me.

But last year she developed a bleed in one of her eyes and after a fairly aggressive and experimental course of treatment, the bleed subsided but she is not able to see well enough to drive, let alone crochet. When she was diagnosed she was working on a set of placemats with which she wanted to set the Christmas table. On the way home from the Ophthalmologist she said, “Well, I’d better finish up that last placemat tonight while I can still see.”

My Mother has the most beautiful handwriting and when she was diagnosed with Macular-Degeneration, my first thought was how much I was going to miss receiving little notes in the mail which were so recognizable by her script but yesterday while strolling through the Hollyhill Quilt Shop in Willamette, OR I heard little sighs of yearning and realised that my mother’s inability to no longer do handwork was one of the biggest losses she is suffering. You see handwork was the joy that filled the hours for her spent at home with my invalid father and I resolved then and there that I must do as much handwork as possible while able because who knows when the day will dawn making the option unavailable?

My Grandmother passed away when my Mother was 24 and I was three. My strongest memory of my Grandmother is of her reaching for a cookie to give me from the jar kept on top of the refrigerator.

A few years ago I discovered a handkerchief made by my Grandmother and given to me by Mother. I keep the hanky in a pocket where I can touch it and feel some magic essence of my Grandmother lingering in the handiwork. I like to think my Grandmother’s penchant for handiwork and my Mother’s crochet creations ignited the flame that fires my own love of creating handmade gifts and projects.

When I ‘rediscovered’ the hanky, I decided I wanted to make hankies for my friends and include the story about my Grandmother.  I spent a while Googling to find the free Crinoline Lady crochet pattern, I also found several patterns including on Etsy. I loved crocheting eight (8) Crinoline Lady motifs to add to the vintage hankies I found in STARS.

This year I’m giving handmade Ribbon Rose pins/hairclips.

But back to the point about online shopping to avoid being pepper sprayed…

My Mother does not have a computer and since she can no longer ‘make things’ for people, this year when she gets a gift idea she calls me to say, “Go to that Etsy web site and tell me how much it’s going to cost.” I’d say she’s got the idea of Shopping Handmade online down to a ‘T’!


7 thoughts on “Shop Handmade for the Holidays to Avoid Being Pepper Sprayed

  1. What a beautiful story. My grandmother died a long time ago, but I still have her pillow cases she gave me. They were crocheted at the ends. Come to think about my ex mother in law passed away in 2005, but she also left me bath towels that were dressed up with crochet. My ex husband always wants these towels…not in my life. Have a great Holiday, and do shop on line.

  2. Sounds as if your mother is a total treasure! The way you described her brought to mind my grandmother and all of her handiwork… I miss her so much, and love having the things she made around me! I can remember her doing needle work with a giant magnifying light… she would LOVE Etsy, but find this whole Thanksgiving Day shopping and Black Friday chaos a sacrilege! You two are so lucky to have one another!

  3. What a sad and happy story at the same time. My Mother passed away last April, She also had macular degeneration. She too made beautiful items and in her last 10 years was no longer able to make them. Really something she loved to do. So sad !
    Keep your Mother close and cherish her.
    How beautiful that you duplicated your Grandmothers handkerchief.
    You are a woman of many talents !

  4. Thank you so much for adding the link to my listing, and even more for sharing your heart warming story on your blog.

    I was inspired to make hand knit & crochet items at a very young age by my beloved grandmothers & mother (all dearly departed now) and still cherish the items that they made for me. I love being able to share these patterns, and the nostalgia that goes along with them 🙂

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