September 29, 2008

A word of caution...

It is around this time of year, we crafters begin tackling the long list of handmade christmas presents to be made in time for December.  I know, myself, last year I made a start in September, and after months of stitching, was still finishing off the last one, sat watching 'Home Alone' on dvd on christmas day.  Whilst, some can instantly appreciate the work that goes into designing, choosing fabrics and thread, the hours spent sewing and embroidering a handmade gift, I fear that there are others, who do not.  Despite all the thought, preparation and time that went into each highly personalised present I made, the only two people to say 'thank you' were my mum and mum-in-law, from everyone else the response was..., well, nothing!

I won't be doing it again.

(other than for those that are truly deserved, and they know who they are, last year even my own children missed out)  

The effort this year will be no more than a bit of internet shopping with a credit card.  

Please make sure your own efforts are not as sadly misplaced as mine were.

On a brighter note, there is a preview of Issue One of Sew Hip available, my contribution is below,

I can't wait to see the magazine in the flesh!

39 comments:

Celia said...

It is a great project and seems to be easy and fast to make in time for the holiday gifts!
Thanks so much and can't wait to see the magazine!

Lucy Locket-Pocket said...

It must have been so frustrating spending all that time and effort for no real thanks - make sure your lovely goodies are for your children and friends and family who will really appreciate them!

Love your little kitty!

Lucy x

Katy said...

I know exactly what you mean about unappreciated gifts. This year my list is still super long, but I am only making for those that actually seemed pleased last time. The people that weren't bothered, or seemingly ungrateful will get less personal gifts. Like you I can't be bothered slaving away for no thanks (not that I expect gushing, just a chirpy thanks would do me)
Sew hip looks great, I can't wait for the first issue to arrive!

IdaDown said...

Hmm. Same goes for Xmas cards. Used to hand make them all...

Katy said...

Thank you for this post. I had all kinds of grand plans for making Christmas gifts, but in recent days, I have been questioning the wisdom of attempting to make so many gifts for the very reasons you stated. I think I will concentrate on making Christmas ornaments and other decorations for MY home that I know that I will enjoy!

The WoodLand School said...

OH, I feel your pain! My hubby and I were just talking about this very thing yesterday. No more crafty frenzy for people who would just prefer a Wal-Mart gift card anyway. WHEW! It certainly takes a burden off and allows me to focus on making things for people who will appreciate them.
: )

upstateLisa said...

I think those who create can appreciate! My mother used to say, "what are you going to do with all those quilts?" and now she has two special ones and has come to appreciate the work involved. Even told me that I should sell them! I love your stuff and hope to find a way to get a hold of a copy of Sew Hip. I see that they take international orders!

katelnorth said...

It's so frustrating, isn't it, when people just completely fail to appreciate the time and effort and thought taken... Takes all the joy out of the making. Love the little coffee cat, by the way - reminds me of my wee squishie from Lucy's Valentine's Day swap, which I still have sitting on my windowsill watching while I sew - always makes me smile :)

Maggie said...

My mom and sister all agreed last year to a homemade Christmas since we are all crafty. It was the best and we are doing it again this year. We pick names in my husband's family and so far everyone has really appreciated things I've made for them but I usually do a combination of making and buying. Last year I had my sister-in-law and I made her a beautiful, cozy blanket and also bought her some books and tea to cuddle up and get cozy with. I've only had a couple gifts that I'm not sure where really appreciated and those were a bit of a let down but it won't stop me!

besomom said...

Well, I wish I were on your gift list because I think your things are completely adorable!

I like to make things, so sometimes just making the gift for someone else is a gift for myself!

Lisa said...

I just recently posted to my blog that I wanted to do handmade gifts for as many people as possible this year. Since posting that, I've started to reconsider, as I know there are some who would not appreciate it. It's a tough call to make, I love making the items, but get so disappointed if people aren't thrilled.

Swiedebie said...

So cute! I will love to own one too. Great work!

Things Hand Made said...

I agree, make because you wnat to, not because you feel obliged to.

Kitty said...

This is a timely post. There are those - who obviously, aren't like us crafty bloggers - who think getting a handmade gift means we crafters couldn't be bothered to go shopping! These are the people on whom that hand crafted stuff is wasted. I've started 'making' but it's only for people I know will appreciate the care and time that went into it.

That kitty is so sweet. x

Lesley said...

I know just how you feel. My sis-in-law prefers anything with a Next label than my 'sweet homemade gifts'!!

Not sure I'll be making much this year, which is a shame as I love making gifts.

xxx

monda-loves said...

it's sad to hear that some people didn't appreciate your hand made pressies last year. Maybe they did but they just didn't say they did???

Thanks for the heads up about sew hip - I have pre ordered my copy!

Monda
x

Jodie said...

Great post - last year I did handmade for everybody, but didn't necessarily make them myself (thankyou Etsy). I find the teenagers particulaly difficult to create for..
One a brighter note I put an explanation of where I bought the item and little bit about the etsy seller in the present and people seemed genuinely interested.

Judy Hartman said...

I have learned that lesson over the years - be careful who you labor over a handmade gift for. Some people actually think it is "cheap" to make a gift rather than to buy one. How sad. I make gifts only for those who truly appreciate them! And I LOVE a handmade gift!

Rebecca F. said...

I totally agree with this post!! Thanks for bringing it up.

Rebecca F.

I am Julie said...

Isn't it just horrible how unappreciative people can be. Sometimes I think the greed of the latest material things outweighs the true meaning of giving. I would rather my friends and family make me something. It takes time and dedication, and thought to make something for someone. I am trying my hand at handmade again this year. It's just so much more personal. We'll see what happens. Your owls are just too cute, how could anyone refuse them?

Fancy Elastic said...

You are right, sometimes I don't think people really appreciate the thought, effert, and time put in to make a handmade gift. I shall endeavour to make a few this year, and they had better be appreciated or there will be trouble!

I love your contribution to the magazine... can't wait for the real thing.

two hippos said...

Its funny how many people dismiss hand made gifts, unless of course they come with a major designers lable. Looking forward to seeing Sew Hip too!

Nita said...

I feel for you annoyance Amy I really do. I enjoy making things for myself that I can enjoy and once or twice I have sent a complete stranger an item that they have commented on via Flickr or my blog and the buzz from doing that is incredible.

Suzie Sews said...

so cute, you must be very excited. As for the Christmas warning,mmmmm I know that feeling well, I only make a handful of presents for my close friends the rest its mail order as I do have one person that says when they receive a handmade gift "Did you not have the time to go to the shops then' The really sad thing is they are serious!!!

Wyldhare said...

I am so glad my mother taught me to value and cherish homemade gifts. I don't make things for most of my family, for the reasons you stated, but I do still make them for my mother and sister.

Mel G said...

I completely agree with you! I made a felted, hand-knitted tote bag. A few months later I asked her how she liked her bag, she said, "Let me take it out, it's just been sitting in my closet" Ouch.

Natalie said...

Thank you for the wake up call! I was planning to make everyones pressies this year (and some of the cards) mainly to save money and make a statement about "handmade" being something we should all be getting back to. I will still do this but there are a few gifts I might make a bit less elaborate! Good luck with your Christmas crafting.

Primrose Corner said...

Love your work. I still have the handmade gifts my grandmother made me and have always treasured them. They made me feel special.

But, I completely agree with you about homemade/handmade. Some folk just don't get it. They don't get hand made Christmas cards either. I make for my children and I make something for my husband but the rest of the family get 'stuff' which is bought. They're happier because then they can take them back and change them. I'm obviously a complete dope at this present lark.

I'm really looking forward to the magazine dropping through the letterbox! Can't wait.....

Joanne Brown said...

I know exactly how you feel! Last year I spent hours and hours making gifts and created beautiful, thoughtful (so I thought!) hampers. My SIL didn't even take anything out the box. My MIL & FIL didn't comment on anything in it, but totally GUSHED over an 'expensive' gift my SIL gave them. I could have cried. I've learned my lesson for this year!!

Can't wait to get a copy of Sew Hip - your project is just too cute :) Love it!!

Zeste Céleste said...

Trop mignon ce petit chaton, j'aime vraiment beaucoup :-)))).
Ton blog est vraiment superbe.

Tourlou.

Sylvie.

Crafts by Alice said...

I understand how you feel. Last year I worked really hard on a personalized handmade gift for every member of my family. Most of them opened the gift, said a very unenthusiastic, "thanks" and threw it back in the box. This year only a few people are getting something handmade. The rest are getting a gift certificate.

Gigibird said...

There is another option – make something but don’t tell the recipient you made it!

monkee maker said...

I'm late with this comment, but heck! a home-made gift from .... let's say ME, is one thing .... a home-made gift from you is another thing entirely! I'd love one!

:)

ps. That wasn't a hint.

pps. Ok, it was a hint.

amanda said...

Just dropped in to say that I got my copy of Sew Hip this morning, and I just love your pattern! I'm sure my daughter and I will be making this very soon!

DangAndBlast! said...

It's funny, seems to depend on upbringing. My aunt (married in) doesn't even acknowledge gifts unless they're high-end designer imports. The rest of my family really appreciates handmade stuff, as my grandmother (the matriarch, in so many ways) makes things, so everyone connects it with happy memories. My father-in-law, on the other hand ... he'd been asking for wedding photos, so I labored over a lovely hand-bound silk-covered album full of prints (the same album my mother cried when she got), and his response was, "hmm, well can you give me the name of the photographer, so I can order some prints myself?" I'd already started what's going to be their Christmas present this year (a massive religious cross-stitch that's taken me forever), but, after that, I'm never spending time on anything for them again!

It's nice to be appreciated...

Nissa said...

You are SO right. When I handmake things for gifts, I have to do something that's making me happy to create, because half the time it may or may not be appreciated. If they aren't jumping up and down with excitement, I say to myself 'well, it was fun to make and I think it's awesome!'

Okay, it's still disheartening when your time and labor into the gift aren't acknowledged. But, as you said, that's when you mark them off of that 'special list' for next year.

Dotty said...

I plan on making this little guy myself, since i bought the first issue of "sew hip"
your such a great designer, i love all the things you make!!

Doda said...

I hadn't read this post before, so thankyou for your wisdom. I know what you mean. I spent a while embroidering a monogram on a lavender sachet - on some vintage cotton, and gave it to a bride to be who took one look at it and obviously struggled to say something nice - and looked a bit embarassed. I thought afterwards, well hmm, maybe not everyone appreciates handmade!

ginny said...

hello amy,
thought i would comment on this post...
it is so interesting to read all the comments here... i like gigibirds... 'don't tell them you made it'... i wonder if your family thought you had chosen and paid for the gift at a craft fair, would they still have reacted in the same way?.. i am very lucky as my family all like handmade and really only do simple gifts and are so unflashy... i made my sister your jam cover for her birthday and my husband made some strawberry jam .. and we put it with a preserves book ... she loved it ... my other sister got a lucy kates mushroom (have added it to your flickr group) with a cook book on gathering and cooking wild and unusual mushrooms... she also loved it so your gift ideas are good and appreciated!
as a maker too it feels wrong to give a gift that is from my 'stock' so i like to make things especially for that person and also make things that i have never made before so i feel that more effort has gone into it... do you know what i mean?
i do buy gifts too , mainly books as you can never go wrong with them ...
hoping all your gifts are greatly received this year and that you have a good Christmas
best wishes
ginny x (sweetmyrtle)