My love for all things handmade runs deep in my blood as well as my childhood memories.
As a little girl, I played with a doll that once belonged to my aunt. The doll came with a blue dress that my grandmother made for my aunt, and that was the only dress I had for it. My mother sewed my purple tote bag for school and knitted my yellow woolen scarf. My aunt from the paternal side used to surprise me with a gift like a handmade broach every time I went to visit her. She still sells her hand crafted items at a small cafe attached to her home.
It was part of my childhood norm to have things handmade. I rarely had store bought character goods that were popular among other kids. I hated my handmade things as a girl, especially the ones I brought to school. They were so different from what my friends had and I didn't want to be different. Little did I know these hand crafted items were a lot more special and durable. My family was all about quality and craftsmanship, and I learned to appreciate things handmade as I grew older.
My grandmother made these little bean bags for my oldest son when he was 11 months old.
She went out for a walk one afternoon and came home with a handful of azuki beans a half an hour later. Then she pulled out her vintage kimono fabrics from her chest of drawers and quickly hand sewed these little bags filled with the beans she just picked. Did I tell you she professionally made kimonos, long before I was born? She was the one who taught me how to sew.
When all the bean bags were made, my grandmother showed her great grandson how to juggle. My son, who was all about throwing things back in those days, giggled with delight.
These bean bags have been well loved by my boys over the past five years. I used to put them away as soon as they were done playing with them. We've lost so many small toys in our home (they magically disappeared into thin air), and I figured these are too precious to be lost. But why don't I display them for all of us to see and enjoy?
So, I gathered them up in a bowl and placed them in the corner of our family room.
I am so grateful I grew up surrounded by all things handmade, those beautiful yet imperfect objects. They are unique, one of a kind and imperfect. Just like me.
And it's nice to decorate our home with something that holds special meaning to us.