Big heavy sigh....
On that note, here I am facing the big buying season of the year, hoping that I, too, will have some brisk business in my shops. It's the big contradiction of my life: I want to live simply so that others may simply live, and yet I love stuff, buy it and sell it. Stuff that nobody really needs. My comfort lies in that I truly believe that helping keep handcrafts alive is part of the fundamental picture of supporting self-sufficiency and encourages the arts to flourish on all levels. Understanding the source of raw materials, how they can be used and allowing self and cultural expression to make a mark is the spiritual side of stuff. Or, so I believe.
Most of "stuff" I carry are traditional textiles and remnants from ethnic groups around the world: Kuchi, Banjara, Kuna, Miao, and other minority groups. Many of them face terrible odds against surviving as a people as we force industrialization, relocation, and war upon them. These pieces of fabric represent long histories that may not be around for much longer.
My target audience in buying is geared towards other fiber artists and sewers who can incorporate these bits and pieces of living history into their own work. But, they also make wonderful gifts. What can you do with a beaded patch like the one above? The easiest thing to make it into a finished gift is to frame it. If you sew, you can add it on to a bag, hat, book cover, or any fabric background, thus personalizing a simple commercial object.
I also carry larger finished pieces like ralli quilts and suzani textiles. These are perfect gifts for college kids who like tribal art or for anyone who enjoys these textiles. Do you have a world traveler on your list? Then you surely will find something in my store for that hard-to-buy-for person!
Rayela Art can also be found on 1000 Markets. There you will find the things that I have made: Hats, bags, pillow covers.
After the Holiday season, I will focus on more of my own work, but first I have to finish listing all of the bins of "stuff" that are still going to go on Etsy and eBay. (I am in the process of re-organizing my eBay store and as of today, it is empty, but will soon be back on track...)
Now, for my shameless self-promotion:
Mention this blog post and get free shipping in the US on any purchases through December 5th. Overseas customers, I'll refund $5 off your shipping cost, but don't forget to mention this post!
And, to all of us, I offer up my sincere hope that we may all experience great joy and bountiful love in this season! This can be a time for great stress and depression for many, but my hope is that we may all have peace and love in our hearts, today and every day.