As much as I love gift wrapping, I am well aware that for many people it is a chore. When I got the idea for Gifted, a line of reusable gift wrap, I loved the thought of making things that both gift-wrap-lovers and -haters could enjoy. For lovers, it’s a fresh, handmade way to package a gift. For the haters, it’s as easy as throwing the present in a paper gift bag…but without the stigma of “oh, you just threw this into a paper gift bag”!

I found instructions for sewing drawstring bags and went to town.  The first batch are small, 6″x5″ ones perfect for a fancy bar of soap, mini journal, set of stationery, or other small gift (like a Leatherman multitool (see, who said this was a blog just for girls?)).

For weeks, I had an awesome rhythm of measuring, cutting, and sewing in the mornings while N. napped. Then I just ran out of steam. I was so close to finishing this little batch and I freaked out a little. I had in mind to sell these – but I was afraid of actually showing them to anyone!

It took a crafting get-together with a friend to get out my rut. Sitting at the dining room table, I began the final step of threading the drawstring ribbons through and knotting them.

It was a cool lesson in the power of doing something collectively. Anyone else up for making stuff together?

Work in Progress

August 12, 2009

Back in April, I got the urge to make things with my hands. This is not uncommon. It is something that is built into me by my family, and even more so, built into me by God.

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.

Though this is a God who knit and wove each one of us by his hand, I sometimes have a hard time believing he would value my own creating. Back in April, I wanted to invest time in making things, but I didn’t know if there was value in it.

I prayed with a friend who sensed God bringing this passage to mind:

Then the word of the LORD came to me: “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands will also complete it. Then you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you. Who despises the day of small things? Men will rejoice when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel…”

This really resonated with me. The story was not a familiar one, but God used it to highlight two things. Specifically, I felt God encouraging me to see the worth of the work of Zerubbabel’s hands. I also felt exhorted to not despise “the day of small things”. Often my projects seem like “small things”. It is hard to imagine something larger coming from them.

So I set out to be faithful in little, to make time to create things and take risks in doing so.

I honestly didn’t mean to write this as I began this post! I was all set to write about drawstring gift bags(!). But I feel this is important context for this blog and the work displayed here. I would love to know how you feel about your creative work. Does it come easy for you to see its value? Or is it hard to see its place in your life?