Thursday, March 26, 2009

Why Handicraft Matters

Here's a conversation between me and my sis the other day:

Me: (suddenly thought of an idea) "Hey, if I earn karma for every card that I make to give someone, I'd be going to Heaven at the end of my life!"

Sis: "..."

I see making cards as an act of spreading love. It's a time-honoured tradition for me, starting when I was a young child. A more mundane reason for why I got into making cards and other crafts like origami is that I needed something to pass the long afternoons spent at home, when my parents were away at work. Not to mention I was inspired by those funny television shows I used to watch like Savoir Faire. The guy in Savoir Faire is always making beautiful things for his parties. Which brings me to another point- handcrafted objects to me are more lovely than manufactured ones. I think the Japanese concept of wabi comes to mind here. Wabi refers to the quality of rustic simplicity and understated elegance, and also beauty in imperfection. I think we were born to do things with our hands; it's something I find very instinctual and natural.

It seems to me, though, that I'm one of the few who upholds the practice of giving cards on birthdays and special occasions. The tradition has been eroded because many dismiss it as a commercialized affair. The truth is that it doesn't have to be so. If one thinks that one lacks the artistic flair to make a card, a simple handwritten note will do. Or one can buy one of the many artisan-made cards available, and take the time and effort to write a greeting inside. It's more special than the run-of-the-mill cards that are everywhere.

I wonder how many people remember that Mothers' Day is coming soon (May 10). I take note of dates because I have to prepare cards to give people for the occasion, but I'm not sure about others. By the way, I sometimes make cards for my GRANDMOTHERS for Mothers' Day, because... well, they're mothers too, right? So if you want to surprise your mum with a card this Mothers' Day, but for some reason lack the capacity to do so (maybe you've never made a card in your life, not even ones with random doodles as a child), visit my Etsy store to find a handmade one or to gain inspiration. It's never too late to try!

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