Handmade With Love

I grew up watching my mother bury the dining room table in craft supplies. Acrylic paints, custom wood pieces, raffia ribbon, pencils, stencils. She’d make placemats, welcome signs, and wooden snowmen for market.

Oh, the markets!

Or craft shows, as we mostly called them. Mom would set up shop and hang out all day long talking to folks and selling her handmade crafts. When my brother and I were old enough, we’d tag along. We’d roam the aisles and spend our allowances on must-haves like the the infamous speckled foam dragons tethered to copper wire leashes. (No joke.)

I’ve always dreamed of setting up shop in a market or craft show.

This year, I bought tiny pre-cut wooden ornaments that are still begging for paint and ribbon. My intention was to hand-paint words like “Peace” and “Love” on those stars and cardinals. I also corralled all of my empty canvases with plans to hand-paint trendy phrases such as “Merry and Bright” and who knows what else on those squares of coarse cloth. I could have done it. I ran out of time. You see, I found out about my acceptance to my first Holiday Market a bit too late.

Ironically, I knew I could crochet a few hats faster than I could hand-paint ornaments and signs. So, I dropped everything but my crochet hook. It took me a few months to perfect the messy bun hat pattern I’d chosen, but I eventually memorized it. When I was able to complete “The One Hour Messy Bun” in one hour, I knew I’d be worthy of my first Holiday Market. I packed up my sled and my humble collection of hats, and went to market.


My stress over limited stock and a not-so-professional display dissolved. I became the messy bun hat lady in a sea of shiny craft show treasures. I sold more than one hat, which was all I’d prayed to sell, I took way more orders than I’d dreamed I take, and made craft show friends.

I’m hooked. (In more ways that one. Get it?)

As I prepare for an upcoming spring show, I am reminded of the reason I create in the first place. It’s not to be the featured business on Etsy, and it’s not to make enough to buy a brand new car. Though, those things might be neat. It’s this:

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).

I’m no theologian, but I have to believe that “good works” in this verse means more than doing well on a craft project. Yet, I know that in all things we do, we can glorify our Creator. Whether it’s a positive attitude while working a stress-filled show, filling orders with gratitude, or going the extra mile on a project, what we do matters when done in love. True love.

Just like my hats have a specific purpose, we each have a specific purpose. Have you discovered yours?


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