knitxcore.: abandoned gifts.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

abandoned gifts.


When I was thrift shopping yesterday, I kept coming across things that once held so much sentiment that were just tossed into piles of junk. In addition to the occasional anniversary gifts and monogrammed hand towels, I saw so many sweet things made specifically for other people who didn't appreciate them.

The picture above is of a pillow that a girl named Laura made for her friend Jennifer's birthday. According to this pillow they met on the diving team and even though they had had their differences in the past, they were going to be BFF's forever. The back had some sort of prayer, possibly a song? This really thoughtful and personal gift probably took Laura hours to make. It isn't easy to write legibly in puff paint. So why did Jennifer dispose of it? Are they not friends anymore? Or is Jennifer and ungrateful little witch?

The picture below ir a sketch a child made, possibly for a parent or grandparent? All that it said on the back was "Age 8", there wasn't a name of anything. But again, the child poured their tiny heart and soul into this little drawing and even took the time to make little glitter swirls around the subject. I understand that the child grew up, or maybe the recipient passed away but this picture was important enough to be framed, why wasn't it important enough to keep?

Seeing these sorts of things among torn sweaters and rusted tea kettles felt like a hot knives in the pit of my stomach! As someone who makes things things so often and gives handmade gifts almost exclusively, this was a huge blow to my ego. Have we lost our sentiment? Is a handmade gift really the equal of a used bread machine? Am I over reacting?

How do you feel about giving/receiving handmade gifts? How do you assess the "quality" of a handmade gift? Are people really this heartless?


abandoned 2

Coming Up...

-The Never-Ending Braided Rug.
-A Work in Progress; The Bathroom.
-The First Roll of Film From My Diana Mini
-Acrylic Stash-busting + Vintage Craft: God's Eye

...and much more


Erin Joy said...

It is said to see handmade treasures on display for any old body to paw over - but sometimes things lose their luster or, as you said, people die or drift apart. At least they have the option to start a new life somewhere else! My mom and I always find handmade quilts at her local thrift store and we snap them up immediately - we'll give them the love they deserve! I hope my kids remember that I made them stuff - even if they don't want to keep them, the thought and love will always be there, in every stitch!

eat my shorts said...

It is sad, isn't it? I'm a terrible gift giver. No one likes the gifts I give so I have to ask for lists from them. I'm a bit shit at it. But I do try.

pam said...

Love this post! And, um, that pillow is pretty amazing. I'd have been tempted to buy it. Last week at Goodwill I found a hand-knit Elizabeth Zimmermann Scandinavian Ski Sweater with a "made with love by Grandma Jean" tag in it, and I carried it all around the store with me for no reason other than sentimentality. HOW COULD SOMEONE DO THAT TO GRANDMA JEAN???

Marisa said...

I LOVE handmade gifts. There is so much thought and time put into them that even if they aren't practical, you cherish them anyways! I always want to give people handmade gifts but I feel they wouldn't appreciate/like them. I wish they were more acceptable in the gift giving world!

Anonymous said...

That's really sad. I could never get rid of gifts that were handmade and took so long to create. I still have birthday gifts from family members back when I was 10. I can't let go of them just because I know how much time it to to make and how meaningful it was to me at that time.
If someone were to make me a pillow like that, I'd NEVER get rid of it. :\

The Feisty Redhead said...

Jennifer -- what a bitch! I would never throw something like this out, even if I hated Laura. I once made a handmade crochet dog for one of my friends and a few months later, it was in her Goodwill garbage bag. It really pissed me off. Now I don't give handmade gifts to just anyone.

Anastasia said...

I barely give a gift that isnt handmade, and those gifts are always my favorite. But stuff happens, maybe Jennifer was away one weekend when her mom decided to do a mass cleaning. Maybe the grandparents who had that picture died. Maybe they decided to toss a box of what they thought were empty frames :c

Jonathan said...

I think the problem is when people think that handmade automatically means good. If it's a well-made quality gift, then that's great. A lot of times, handmade things can be a bit janky and though there was effort put into it, I don't think the title "Handmade" should always save something that's a bit crap. Listen, I'm all for handmade, but quality is pretty important.

WillyG said...

Haha! I went to a friend's wedding and hated all the wedding cards... they needed extra pillows for the wedding party sleeping over, so I bought them some pillows did much the same thing... but with the intention of using normal pillow cases over them. No BFF messages in puff paint, though. I'd be fine with them throwing it away when it got old.

I don't think handmade gifts have to be forever treasured just because they're handmade. There comes a point when even handmade stuff becomes clutter. It may have been very difficult for the owner to get rid of this pillow.

Jessi said...

it's so sad when you see things like that! I hope I never see something I made someone in a thrift store

Meg said...

I totally agree. Every time I see a handmade afghan at a thrift store I get sad that so much time was put into the project and someone just gave it away.