I may sound like a ranting potter on a soap box but...

A few weeks ago I received an email explaining that with regret a customer had to cancel their order. They had worked out that with making and postage time the plate they’d ordered for a gift wouldn’t arrive in Denmark in time. Sad times for all.

Luckily, even though I normally allow 2-3 weeks for making, it so happened that this particular plate had just come out of the kiln and was ready to ship the very same day. ‘Hurrah!’ The email reply exclaimed.

My Danish customer went on to explain that they had been invited to a dinner party to celebrate the birthday of a good friend. The only thing her friend wanted the guests to bring was a handmade plate, which would be left with her, as a special reminder of her friends. What a wonderful idea! And what an honour that a plate – made by me! – was chosen to be her gift.

I loved this concept so much I wanted to tell all of you about it. "Giving handmade is truly the essence of gift-giving. When you give a friend or loved one a gift, you are really saying "I care about you." A handmade gift conveys so much more than something from Amazon or Ikea. Of course there are the obvious economic benefits of supporting independent makers and artists, but buying and giving handmade is, at it's heart, a loving act."*  When buying handmade there is also always a story which goes alongside the item; where you discovered the maker, how the item was made, the story of the artist themselves, why the gift reminds you of the recipient...etc...etc... A handmade gift will also invariably last A LOT longer, partially because it's likely to be treasured more but mostly because it will be fantastic quality and will have been made with love.

So maybe for your next dinner party, birthday and especially this Christmas , instead of buying bottles of wine or chocolate from Tesco why not give local wine or handmade chocolates?  You can find amazing handmade items at your local craft fair or farmers market. Etsy.co.uk and Folksy.com are fabulous online market places for handmade loveliness- I promise you it doesn't have to cost any more than a few extra moments of your time and maybe a little patience when your gift is being lovingly made especially for you.  Imagine how much more special it will feel. For the same price as your substandard bottle of wine you could take a little token that can be kept and treasured as a memory of you - forever. My little limited addition Christmas porcelain birds  would be perfect ;-) you can find them in my Folksy shop here https://goo.gl/8aUMUF

Do me a favour, give your nearest and dearest ONE handmade present this year or even better ask for handmade in return!

This super little egg cup, perfect for a dippy egg, would make a lovely stocking filler.

*Quote sourced from Cassie of Clementine Jewellery via http://poppytalks101reasonstobuyhandmade.blogspot.co.uk/