...is the process by which we create, discover, learn and grow with those we cherish most.


in love with handmade

A surprise package arrived for Ava - from ARGENTINA! We ordered her more of Julie's fabulous handmade clothing, and it was nothing short of absolute sweetness... Beginning with her signature tissue paper Ava tore out of the box, drawings from Julie's daughter, Zoe, tumbled out. Personalized and thoughtful, Zoe drew Noah a "bug" which resembled very much like a centipede I thought, and many "moons" for Ava, with a special message noting it was for the Moon Beam Academy! - which is the name [inspired by your comments] of the new "school" Ava attends at home [big SMILE]. More on that later...


A special note from Zoe

Moon & Star skirt

The skirt, adorned with a hand embroidered moon and star, is a brown linen trimmed with a matching gingham check - the perfect uniform for Ava's MBA don't you think? So we had to steal this one from her online store right away...

After the initial surprise wore off, she was ready to go - in other words, make the most of playtime and build tall towers while king kong was napping. So I did - but not before tying the beautiful smock on her. I love the playfulness this fabric already exudes ... the little bow that forms in the back... and the front center pocket made to hold secret treasures... no bigger than a marshmallow or two...

Playing in the smock

That same week, a surprise package came for me this time - from PORTUGAL! And my heart swelled up - for many reasons: Like the grand thoughtfulness of Zelia, a new friend I met from this blog, to go out of her way to hand write me a letter, buy me Portugal fabric and pencils - and send them to me along with tips on how to create Una-na handmade dolls of my own - which I adore so much.



The romantic European fabric made my head spin thinking about all the beautiful things they could be instead... And I just couldn't help but picture Zelia handwriting my letter one night before sealing the package. What was I doing the exact same time I wonder? There's just something extra special about handwritten letters from afar... the time to write down cascading thoughts... the distance of travel across land and water...and the countless people that handled it before dropping it in my mailbox... wow!

All of it simply reminded me of how powerful our hands are - and how they create and move the worlds between each one of us...

Do you have a favorite handmade piece? I'd love to know...


  1. Oh, Zarlacht!!!
    You are so good to me. I loved this post, even more because it's about the things I make, of course. But the whole sentiment, and the push you are giving to handmade is great. I think that the world could really change if people understood that little gestures of change do the whole thing. Like this thing about handmade, if we could all think of this once in a while before we bought something from a chainstore...
    And cooking, and writing, and so on and on and on...
    Ava is my queen. She is. I swear. And that eyes of her kill me.
    I think I connected Zelia and you without knowing it! She sent me some of these lovely fabrics some time ago, along with a bandana pattern (which I hadn't find time already to make, shame on me; but I wil, any time soon). You can see it here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/juliealvarez/2479030644/
    So, thank you for writing this. And sharing. And loving the things I do. To have these feedback means the world to me.

  2. So true Julie. I guess I've always been in love with it - handmade sweaters last a life time - and retail sweaters shrink after the first wash.
    There's no doubt that the work, passion, and labor put into a piece stands the test of time - and that alone is a remarkable value. I wish I could make more things with my hands... if only I can get back to sewing...and try.

    Yes - I think I found her through your blog - and saw some Una-na dolls she made. I wrote her to tell her, and a friendship was born. She's incredibly sweet and generous to send us such wonderful packages! I'm making her one to return the favor... but it's tough coming up with - Texan fabric?

    This cowgirl is up for the challenge!

    Oh - and you are very welcome for this post. I love you dearly.

  3. The feeling is mutual :)
    I just sent Ze two aguayos (traditional babywraps here). She payed for them, because I just couldn't afford to give them to her. But I was happy to be able to do something for her in return too...

  4. My favorite handmade piece is a denim dress my grandmother made for me as a child. I saved it, with the hopes that one day I'd have a daughter of my own who would wear it. Sure enough, I do. I'll have to get it from back home where my parents live. I think they still have it.

    I will have to write about some handmade things. Zar and Julie, I love reading both of your blogs and learn something new every time. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Denim dress! I hope you find it at your Mom's Bianca!

    Just the other day, my Mom was shopping for her new granddaughter that's on the way - and noticed how many beautiful dresses [now machine made] were fashioned from 50 years ago... it seems like children's clothing is finally getting with the program - kids need basics - that are well made - and that usually means, hand-made. ;)
    When you find that dress - post it on your site so we can see it!
    Hugs & Love,


Thanks for sharing - I will respond to your comment here as well so check back! xo


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