September 13, 2014

Why I Love All Things Handmade

I love anything handmade. 

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 think of my grandmother every time I walk pass by the bowl full of bean bags. The boys can reach them anytime they're in the mood for juggling. 

This probably explains why I value handmade goods. Their imperfections and quirkiness comfort me. They remind me it's good to be unique and imperfect.

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.


  1. A bowl of beanbags ... just too fun! I love how you're living out your creative heritage, my friend.

    Vintage cookie cutters and collected sea glass have made their way to my tables in the past in big old bowls or baskets. You've got me thinking this morning ...

    1. I love sea glass (pretty!) and vintage cookie cutters in a bowl is a great idea! Now you've got me thinking... Have a wonderful weekend, Linda.

  2. Isn't it great to have something out like that that's well-loved and a reminder of family? The bowl they're in is really cute too.

    1. Yes, it's fun to decorate with something so special. Thank you for stopping by :)

  3. Yuko, this is such a lovely story and the bean bags are absolutely adorable! You save them like a treassure - great!
    All my best from Austria

    1. Thank you, Elisabeth! Those bean bags truly are my treasure (I won't trade them for anything) ;-) xx

  4. I love the handmade as well. Objects are elevated when there is love and focus woven into them. I recently bought hand-woven bread rising baskets. I can't believe how intricate and special they are.

    1. Hand-woven bread rising baskets sounds lovely. I bet they make bread very tasty!


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