YAY! The time has come for the first giveaway at Green Gracious! This giveaway is kindly sponsored by Jess at Umlauf and open to any person with a US mailing address. I asked Jess to tell us a little bit about why handmade treasures are not only special and important in keeping crafty artisans at work, but a great environmental option for people wanting beautiful and useful things. I think she put it perfectly when she said:
Receiving a handmade gift is really special. As sentimental as this may sound, there is a certain energy that flows from, say, a set of handbuilt bowls. You look at the texture carved into them, the glaze, the shape, and immediately are able to connect it with the ceramicist who put her time and heart into them. It's an experience in direct opposition to going to Target and plonking down some cash for factory-made bowls.
I'm in constant awe of the wares I see on www.etsy.com, and since I opened shop there last year, I've made a conscious effort to buy handmade more often. Many artisans and craftspeople place a priority on producing items that are friendlier to the earth than mass-produced items. They choose to upcycle and reuse materials that might have otherwise ended up in a landfill; they use vintage fabrics; their packaging is recycled. The mindset here is to, as much as possible, make beautiful clothing or wood products or paintings using materials that are already out in the world. By doing so, they lessen their dependence on factory-manufactured materials and take advantage of the existing abundance of goods.
When you buy handmade, you buy stock in human creativity. You're helping to support not only the maker's family, but also the community to which they belong. You're also most likely lessening your own carbon footprint. You're making an important choice to NOT put money into the pockets of a multi-million dollar corporation.
And for all those reasons and more, Jess is giving away this gorgeous handmade neck-warmer.
In order to win please pop over to Jess's shop, come back here, and post a comment on your favorite item she offers. If you email address is not easily accessible, please leave it in your comment.
For additional entries (one for each of the following, please leave a comment for each):