Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sometimes Giving a home made gift isn't what you dreamed it would be.

As in I dreamed that this giraffe would be the hit of the birthday party.  People ooing and aahing over how talented I am and how hard I must have worked to finish this little cutie.  I imagined that in time this giraffe would become my nieces favorite stuffed toy; you know the one she can't sleep with out the one that goes every where with her.  I imagined that this toy would be loved so well it would loose an eye and get really floppy. That some day it would end up in an antiques shop and someone like my mom would see it and fall in love with it and buy it for an unreasonable sum saying all the time "I have to have it, you can tell how loved the poor thing was." then they would take it home and display it on an old child's rocking chair next to a ratty stuffed dog and a bunny missing an ear!

That is what I imagined would happen... what actually happened was my sister-in-law pulled the toy out of the bag while my niece was trying to escape off her blanket back to her cake and said "Oh how cute a sock monkey." (let yourself pause here to get the full effect of my let down) then I giggled politely so she would know that wasn't right and she said "I mean sock giraffe." Friends this toy is neither a monkey (I hate monkeys) or was it ever a sock.  I CROCHETED this GIRAFFE during the afternoons while the children were asleep and in the evenings after they were in bed, I went to wal-mart (WAL-MART YUCK!) because the face didn't look right in the colored yarn I already had on hand and it was late.  Oh well my favorite crafter (I hate that term isn't there a more romantic term then crafter?) Alicia Paulson (who's new book, The Embroidery Companion, I LOVE) warned me this could happen.  In her first book, Stitched in Time, she talks about how there will be times when people won't appreciate what you've made them quite as much as you do...

And you know what that's all right with me because I still feel like a hand made gift is more special then any thing I could buy in the store (especially any fisher price light up crap) Tasha Tudor says that when you make someone a gift you gift them twice; once in the actual gift and a second in the time you took out of your schedule to make them something because you thought of them.  I like to use the time when I'm making something to stitch and sew little prayers and hopes for that person (especially when it's children) into the project.  And I like to think that some of that magic is left there.  A piece of me, so that when they hold the toy or wear the garments they will feel how much I love them and how much I hope for them.  The blessings that I want to give them but am not sure how to put into words I put into stitches instead.
This giraffe has rather large arms which I like to think of as muscles; and really doesn't a little girl need a stuffed animal with large muscles to keep her safe from the boogy man at night?  The bib I did mostly in the car on our Maine trip.  My niece had a rough start in life spending the first many months of her life in the hospital so I wanted this bib to be light and free, full of colors and flowers and the idea that she will be a free spirit blowing with the wind, following her dreams.  And a sun because of that Irish blessing, "The Lord let his face shine upon you."


Beki said...

I actually made something really intricate that took me a super long time and it turned out really, really nice. I intended to give it to someone in Mike's family. He talked me out of it! He said that this person would never appreciate it for how much love and work went into it and then he framed it and wanted to keep it in our home. I don't regret it at all!

Miranda said...

That girafee is adorable and unique! I especially like the bib because it's so personal. I hope she comes to appreciate the gift one day. Either way you know that all the prayers and love you put into it will have an affect in her life.

Courters said...

Oh Jess look at all that work you did! I love the Giraffe! I saw it first on your facebook and it so totaly obviously a giraffe. I am sorry that she didn't see that.
Eli is getting bigger I bet the little outfit you made him will fit now. I'll post a pic soon.
I love you.

fullertribe said...

I know a little boy that would have loved to get something like that. Gabe loves stuffed animals and especially loves girafee's he still has the one that Courtney have him when he was a baby. I think you did a wonderful job and I'm sure it will be loved.