When my great-grandmother passed away, I asked for a token from her china cabinet--an antique mug embellished with a little rose and the words "Love the Giver". I think it was a common sentiment from Victorian days, but when I look at the gaudy little cup encrusted with cracked leaves and shiny gold paint, I envision some poor soul presenting it to my granny and being grateful that he didn't have to say in so many words, "it's not much, but it's from my heart."
As artists, everything we make is a gift, and when it is created with a special someone in mind, we really pour our hearts into our work. The giving fills our gut with butterflies and makes us feel self-conscious and proud all at the same time--like sending a child out on stage for her first piano recital--her hair pinned back in a big satin bow. I know from experience, that our recipients cannot always understand how personal it is for us to give, so we must guard our hearts as we hand over our wares sometimes.
But when you make something for a fellow artist or collector, you can truly create in a safe place, and the process is a joy from beginning to end. I hope that's how my co-worker and friend, Lindsay, felt when she made this surprise for me this week
I haven't had a new planner at my desk since I'd started 10 years ago, and I think what I'd been working with was handed down to me from the person before. It was time for an update, so when I sent my request for the boring black Franklin-Covey binder to Lindsay (queen of supplies, spreadsheets and handmade cozies), I told her with a bit of sarcasm in my email that maybe I'd just make a cozy for it someday. (Yeah, right. When do I ever make time to sew for myself!?) Then lo and behold, when I walked in Wednesday morning, this darling, personalized little ditty was sitting on top of my mess of a desk shining like a dozen roses with my name embroidered in 7 perfect letters. I knew who it was from before I even opened the card, and with this treasure given between kindred spirits there was no need for even the most gentle reminder to "love the giver."