One of the many reasons I love buying handmade, is that you really get to know where your money is going. Often you get to interact with the person, if not one-on-one you can read their blog, be their friend on twitter or facebook, you get to know the person behind the product. It makes me feel great to spend money and know that not only do a get a quality product for myself or who I’m buying for, but I’m helping keep alive someone’s dreams of owning their own shop, of doing what they love, of continuing to lead the life they want to lead. When you go shopping at Target, yes… you find cute things and good deals, but you’ll never find something one of a kind or OOAK as we Etsy people shorten it. You won’t find something that someone poured their heart and soul into, and you won’t find something that was sent with such love and such appreciation SPECIAL just for you. I’m blessed with having a beautiful family, who does beautiful things with their time and makes beautiful things. One such example is my cousin Tina. She’s a feisty redhead who would give you the shirt off her back, or kick someone’s butt if they messed with you. She’s like a sister to me, and more than that she’s my best friend. Every bad day I have, she hears about it, every great day I have – she’s who I want to share it with! It’s not just me that feels this way about her, it’s everyone in her life that she’s ever met.
Tina has been struggling for a long time with a heart condition and has been trying this year to get on the transplant list… you would think this would slow her down and make her focus on herself, right? Wrong! She spends all her time on her family, her sons, and charity. She volunteers for various charities, makes beautiful pocket crosses that she donates to hospitals, the veterans hospital, churches and everyone else in her life. She volunteers her time and money into food kitchens, shelters, and sponsors people, all this while going in and out of the hospital dozens upon dozens of times. It’s inspiring to know someone like that, the fight that she has and goes through EVERY day is awe inspiring. She was thoughtful enough to send me some of her crosses that she’s been making to give out, and I love mine. They’re so beautifully made and they’re perfect to hold in your hand for that moment of peace. I told her they’d make great gifts! Crosses to me aren’t just a symbol of religion.. it’s a symbol for peace, serenity, HOPE. I don’t think you have to be a religious person to own a cross, or to give one. I’ve been trying to convince her to set up shop on Etsy to sell them, just so the cost of the crosses she gives away is covered. With the money she does have, she uses it for her family and constantly doing thoughtful things for them and the community around her, I’ve never heard her buy a single thing for herself that wasn’t an absolute necessity. She gets her joy from giving, and in spirit of that I want to share her beautiful work with you. I’ve talked her into allowing me to “advertise” for her and to sell some of her beautiful crosses. She uses a plastic cross piece and then crochets yarn around it to give it a very soft and beautiful feel to it, she does them in various colors and designs and embellishes them with gems in the center as a focal point. Each and every one is different and unique and made with love. She’s going to sell them for $6 a piece, with free shipping. I’ll post some more pictures of them later this week as she makes more, but here’s the selection she has right now. Aren’t they beautiful? She can leave them without ribbon so you can tuck them in your purse or pocket or bible, she can attach a ribbon so they would make a sweet ornament during the holidays, you could buy a suction cup and attach it to the kitchen window, hang it on the rear view mirror in the car, or use it as a bookmark. I think they’d make a sweet gift for someone going through hard times, someone who is ill, or someone you just want to remind that you’re thinking of them.
I thought I would share this with all of my followers and friends because I know you all have the same type of heart that I do, we all love to have that great feeling of giving back and let me tell you folks, this is the person to give back to because it’s going to just keep being paid forward. If you’d like to order one of her Pocket Crosses, please Email Tina at HTina37@yahoo.com, in the subject line please put “Pocket Cross Order” so she knows you’re not spam! She’s incredibly friendly and will be happy to let you choose from the ready made selection, or she’ll make you a special one of your favorite colors. Please pass this on friends! We’re all trying to make the world a better place in one way or another, and this is a great small step. Thanks for reading!